Each morning when I leave for work, the last thing R.T. tells me is, “Watch out for deer!”  It all started a couple months back because my route to work takes me through some country backroads where deer are plentiful.  Too often, alonside the road, I see deer who were on the losing end of an encounter with a vehicle.  I often see deer in the distance or near the road.  So far, though, none had come close to running in front of me.

Soon, R.T.’s caution became a ritual – and, as silly as it might sound, it is one that always brings a smile to my face.  RT never missed an opportunity to tell me to “Watch out for deer” until this  morning.  He was hurrying to meet a workman over at the building site and was distracted.   I was on my way to work before I realized he hadn’t said it.  I almost called him to tease him about forgetting it, but I figured the phone call would jinx me. 

Jinxed or not, it didn’t take long.  Sure enough, about six miles from school, as I drove down a road with particularly scenic woods on each side, I saw the deer.  He was a large stately buck with an impressive rack of antlers, and he stood poised by the side of the road ahead – seemingly ready to dash across in front of me.  I slowed the car.  He looked my way, paused briefly- seeming to make eye contact – and then turned and bounded off into the woods.  It was one of those unexpected moments in life when you see something so beautiful and close-up it takes your breath away.

I called R.T.  “You forgot something this morning,” I said.

“Watch out for deer!” There are advantages to knowing someone so well.  He knew exactly why I had called. He had already realized that he hadn’t given his usual caution.

“Too late,” I answered.  I let the words hang there for a second or two before I assured him that I had not run into a deer but had merely seen one.  Of course I had to talk about how large it was and how big the antlers had been.

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3 Responses to “Watch out for deer!”

  1. Terry Says:

    One of the benefits of my current job that I hold most dear (nudge) is that I get to drive through Berry College land every day. And I see deer virtually every day, sometimes scores of them. I also often see wild turkey, hawks, herons, an occasional fox or coyote and the usual ‘coons, ‘possums, and skunks. Several of my friends have had their autos damaged by the deer. And, sadly, one acquaintance was killed when he hit a deer, very near his home, and it crashed through his windshield.

    So thank you, RT, for reminding my sister to watch out for the deer.

    Carol:  Thanks, Terry, for your comments.  This morning I saw a whole flock of turkeys in a field beside the road on my way to work.  I’m sorry about your friend.  Our son-in-law had a deer run into the side of his car – a big buck that caused a lot of damage.

  2. Jane Says:

    I fully understand RT’s admonition to you. About 15 years ago I hit a deer on a road near our church. Fortunately, I was driving one of our churches 15 passenger vans. But, sadly, the deer had to be put down. It was very scary. He jumped out in front of me and there was no time to change my course. So, “Watch out for deer”!

    Carol:  I’ve seen so many deer on the side of the road after being hit by a car.  Apparently with the increased population in deer, it occurs more and more frequently.  I’m glad you weren’t injured, though.

  3. Terry Says:

    I like the way your comments work now, with your responses directly connected to your readers’ comments!
    Another roadkill note: Our school is doing a project to survey roadkill. It is part of our effort to use the environment as an integrating context for learning. The kids report and record instances of roadkill each day. They map the locations, number and species. We will try to determine if there is a relationship of human development (new subdivisions, mostly) in our area to the amount of roadkill. The kids, of course, love such yucky projects.

    Carol: Actually the comments work the same way they always have.  I’ve just started adding my response to the comments IN the comments.  It makes more sense that way.  Kids always like yucky stuff.  I can just imagine their joy at studying roadkill.  -)    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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