Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Obsessed with Deer

Oh deer, I almost hit another one the other day.

He was loitering on the highway in front of my car. I honked, swerved (which I know you aren't supposed to do).

He made eye contact with me, then leapt off the road and bounded across the field, clearing fences like they weren't even there.

I've hit two deer so far (that's the total since I've been driving, not this year). It's heartbreaking. Deer are so beautiful, so elegant, so, well, doe-eyed. Oh, and they also make quite the dent.

Why are deer unable to muster a collective unconscious that teaches them to be afraid of cars?

Deterrents don't seem to work. Our neighbors used to attach deer whistles to their car. The screaming noise they made as they passed our house seemed to alarm every animal in the surrounding county. But not deer.

Deer are on my mind because I just returned from a trip to the twinkle-lit, pastry-laden town of Fredericksburg, Texas, where deer are everywhere--both inside and out. Deer heads, antler candleholders... If you can stuff it, mount it, or skin it, you can decorate with it.

In Stonewall, Texas, I visited the beautiful LBJ ranch, which is now the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, and saw this curious trio.