The way out here isn’t all good things. Neither is it the thriller-inspiring dark woods that so many urban folks think it is. What I mean to say, in this dichotomy of pros and cons of living in …
The way out here isn’t all good things. Neither is it the thriller-inspiring dark woods that so many urban folks think it is. What I mean to say, in this dichotomy of pros and cons of living in the country, is that with all the great things to enjoy about living out here, there are the occasional hindrances.
This past Monday, I started the morning off normally. I got up, got dressed, grabbed a lunch, got in the car and headed out to work. About two minutes down the road, I spied a deer standing in the middle of the lane, for which I correspondingly reduced my speed. Upon realizing my approach, the deer decided to wander forth to the side of the road for safer ground. Seeing this, I naturally began to accelerate again, with full knowledge that deer will sometimes follow one another across the road. Glancing left and right, I saw a wide berth to either side of the pavement where any incoming deer would easily be seen in enough time to stop or slow down again. Nearing about 40 miles an hour now (honest, I swear), I had just reached the spot where the deer was once standing when I spotted—out of my left peripheral vision, sprinting as though it were in a greyhound race—a smaller deer.
You may have already surmised where this is going, but for the purposes of defending my honor as a driver, I feel the need to state that had this deer simply run straight across the road, it would have ended up some 20 feet behind my car, unscathed. In contrast to what can be considered logical deer navigation 101, this deer seemed to be convinced that it needed to cross in front of my vehicle which, at this frozen point of time, was already slightly ahead of its path.
As my foot smothered the brake pedal into the floor, I watched out my driver window in frame-by-frame slow motion as the deer course-corrected and gained the step or two it needed to outrun my car. Unfortunately for the deer, getting ahead of my car was one thing. Turning to cross in front of the car was another.
Without going into any gruesome detail, my speedy little competitor crossed over from the aforementioned foot race to a Lucha-Libre-style body-checking contest, of which we both lost.
Let it be known that my overzealous adversary did not suffer a moment longer than it took for the incident to occur. I did stop, however, and take the time to drag him off of the road and clear the shattered remains of my driver side headlight from the asphalt. Only a vehicle or two came by during this time but one of them must have had a friend who works for the roadkill café; when I drove back later that night, I saw a pair of tire tracks in the snow leading to where I had drug the deer. Hey, waste not want not.
Part of the way out here is understanding that sometimes the inevitable happens: in this case, hitting a deer. Deer get hit all the time; it’s part of why hunting is so important. For more on that, see the December 8, 2018 editorial (www.bit.ly/huntingeditorial), “Hunt: a four letter word,” published in the award winning River Reporter. As for my end of this little collision, I’ll thank God for this little story and the stipend for writing it, which will assuredly go towards new headlights for the car. As I said at the beginning of this column, the way out here isn’t all good things, but that’s not to say there aren’t any good things to be found in the midst of trouble.