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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Deer Tales, Past and Present

Last Monday I was in Wal-Mart, and as I mulled over the reasoning behind putting no bake cheesecake in the baking aisle, my cell phone rang. It was my oldest son, Eric.

After our greetings, he asked, “Do you remember Pam, the woman you stopped to help after she hit the deer that time?”

“Sure,” I said. Several years ago, on the drive to visit Jim in the nursing home, I was following a car that was going the same speed. I thought about passing, but decided to drop behind instead. Soon, I heard a loud pop and a deer went bouncing off the hood of the other car toward the road. Another loud thud and a deer went flying toward the ditch. Shattering glass sprayed in all directions. The car pulled to the side of the road, and I parked behind.

I was worried because a retiree from the company I work for had died after a deer came through his windshield. I ran to the driver’s door and asked the lady if she was okay. She assured me she was fine, but I stayed with her while we waited for the highway patrol.

She introduced herself as Pam, and we soon discovered she worked at the same dealership as my son. Now all these years later, Eric was calling to tell me that Pam had died the night before. “Isn’t she about my age?” I asked. How sad that the only time I had ever talked with her was the night she hit the two deer.

I always felt fortunate that I had never hit a deer considering how plentiful they are in Missouri. One morning a few weeks ago, I stopped while seven deer crossed the road in front of me.
Just recently, my boss hit a deer in the company car and a few days after it was repaired, he hit another with his farm truck. I see deer all the time, but I’ve always managed to slow down and we’ve all gone safely on our way.

Later Monday night on the way home I was thinking about how old my car is getting and decided I needed to buy a new vehicle. This thought had no more crossed my mind when a deer jumped into the road, bounced off the pavement, and made a flying leap into my lane. I hit my brakes, but knew the deer and I were on a collision course. My car thudded into the deer and he careened across my hood. I had a close up view of the deer’s belly and expected him to come crashing through my windshield. Instead, he skidded across the hood and off the other side.

I pulled over to stop on a side road and immediately began to hyperventilate. With trembling fingers, I dialed a number on speed dial and told my friend what had happened. I got out of the car to survey the damage, and thankfully, a young man who lived in a house nearby came out with a flashlight to check on me.

After the highway patrol accident report, I drove my car home. It was missing a headlight and had a banged up hood. I wasn’t hurt, and although I can’t imagine he made it far, the deer had picked himself up and gone back into the field—makes me feel like I fought the deer and the deer won.

The adjuster at Farm Bureau Insurance helped me find a rental car and get my car into the collision center. So now I’m tooling around in a luxury car, and expecting a deer to jump into the road at any time. Logically, I have to consider that until this week, I had driven for more than thirty years without hitting a deer, but now I’m a little paranoid that deer are lurking alongside the road waiting for me to drive by. The deer won’t recognize the rental car will they? How long will it take if I buy a new car before they know it is me driving it?

I guess my out-of-control thoughts are caused by my overactive writer’s imagination, or from watching too many episodes of Twilight Zone when I was a kid. That has to be all it is. Who ever heard of the “Revenge of Bambi”?

copyright (c) March 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://earlyonset.blogspot.com/
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