unless stated, none of these photos were taken by me
3:54 am - 11.06.05
The Day The Deer Attacked!
Here's another story I wrote up at Eagle River, loosly based on the four of us, and a dream I had.
The Day The Deer Attacked
It was on the third day of a lil gathering of friends in the North Woods and the Assload of Lakes in Upper Wisconsin. It was morning, all seemed well, all that is except for the huge buck standing in our driveway.
We honked the horn, vroomed the engine, even creeped the car forward; he didn't move. Bill was a good friend from college, a good problem solver too. But since his brain was impaired, his solution was very primitive.
"Very childish, Bill" said Samantha, she's the sensible one of our party. "Hit it with a rock! A big rock." We all turned and stared at her.
"Coffee, we all need coffee." I muttered to myself.
We had been sitting there staring down the antlered monster for about thirty minutes, when Dani unbuckled her seatbelt and crawled over the backseat, popped the hatch back, and jumped out. She marched right up to our Breakfast Nemesis, and shouted at him "MOVE YOU FUCKING COAT-RACK!!!" The buck remained motionless.
Dani began waving her arms and jumping up and down, which turned into a sort of war dance, which shoulda been enough to scare a whole pack of coyotes back to their den. The buck snorted at her, and kicked dust at her. Me, Bill, and Samantha were glued to our seats in fear, I'm sure we were all thinking *this is it, she's dead* But the buck just stood there.
I don't know exactly what led to the following events, but it would go down into history as the day of the Antlered Invasion. Dani stared down the buck, even though she stood a few feet shorter then the seven foot high buck. Still he did not budge. So she pushed him. Grabbed the fur of his neck, and gave him a good push backwards; the buck stumbled backwards a few steps. The buck lunged with it's head, but Dani had ducked clear anticipating an attack. The buck turned to the side to clip her in the back, but Dani reached up and pulled herself onto the back of the ginormous buck. She clasped her hands around the throat of the beast, as it ran in circles bucking her up and down. Then the beast made a sound that didn't seem very deer-like. It said, "MOOOOOOOOO-AAAHHHHHRRRRRR!!!!!"
"Did the buck just moo?" Samantha said.
"I don't know, but I didn't like the sound of it." I said.
Dani was still on the back of the raging beast, but it seemed to be moving slower now. In the semi-soundproofed car I could hear her screaming something at the buck. So I rolled down the window.
"....COFFEEE! DIE YOU BUCKET OF VENISON, I WANT COFFEEE!!!!" she shrieked.
When the buck didn't move, we all got worried. I opened the door, and got out. Bill and Samantha did the same. We walked cautiously up to the buck. It was lying still, it's eyes closed.
"Should we poke it with a stick?" Bill was a Philosophy Major at the University.
"Let's not get carried away here." I said. "Dani, are you okay?"
"I think so, just a little bruised."
"What in the heck were you thinking? He coulda killed you?"
"I don't know, I was hungry, thirsty....I'm sorry." She knelt down next to the buck, and began to cry. Samantha knelt down next to her. I went over to Bill, and put my arm around him.
"How ya doing?"
"I'm okay, I never killed anything before. I know I didn't do this, but it feels like I was a part of it, y'know?"
"Yeah..." was all I could say.
I didn't know what to do with the buck, I didn't know who to call, or if we'd have to pay a fine. I didn't have long to think, because we heard that awful "moo" sound again, only this time it was off in the woods.
"Oh shit, more are coming!" Bill started darting his head around. "Don't you see?! This buck called out for more to join him in battle! We are so screwed..."
"Now just calm down, Bill. We'll just call the Police, the DNR, or ....Larry's Fish & Tackle, someone will know what to do."
"I don't know what they want, they want my blood! I probably killed their chief or something...oh crap, they're going to be so pissed." Dani backed away from the "Chief of Deer". She got a mad look in her eye, "We can bury it, yeah...there's a nice spot behind the woodshed."
"Dani, you can't bury a buck. It would be like trying to bury a Hummer! It's too big! What about the antlers, they'd stick out of the ground." I tried to reason with her, but she wasn't listening to it. Meanwhile we could hear rustling sounds coming closer.
"I think we should all go inside, before they get here." Samantha was already standing by the front door.
"I don't see why we can't just cut off it's head and mount it somewhere? I mean this whole town has deer heads everywhere! Really, they wouldn't notice an extra one?"
"Sure, Dani....why don't we just duct tape it to the hood of my car?!" I was getting tired of this. I was ready to just go inside and eat the leftover Twinkie and Frenchfry Casserole.
"But that would cut down on the wind resistance of the car, and would be aerodynamically unsound! Not to mention the gas mileage...especially if you divide the friction with the velocity equivalents with the square ratio of two..."
"Samantha, shut up!" I couldn't take this, my nerves were shot.
"Ah....guys?" Bill was staring at the forest, we were ignoring him. "Guys...ummm....guys..."
"It was sarcasm, you nitwit!" the lack of nourishment and Juan Valdez were eating away at my composure. "I say we just chop the fucking beast up into cat food and give it to the crazy man next door....he has...like 20 cats?! They'll looovvvee the taste of Bambi!"
"Guys, you better see this..." Bill was pointing wildly, yet again we ignored him.
"I'm just saying we dig a big hole, bury it, forget it, and go get some grub. I'm sorry I killed it, but he was blocking the driveway. I wanted food!" Dani's acceptance of responsibility always came with selfish logic.
"Guys, ya gotta see this..."
We all turned suddenly and saw a row of bucks, doe, and various other deer galloping through the forest towards us. We were frozen in our footsteps, unable to move.
"I know, lets prop him up, they'll never know the difference. Bill, go get a carrot...deer like carrots, right? Anyway, we'll shove a carrot down it's throat and it'll look all friendly like. After that the deer posse will go away, and all will be well." Dani needed coffee badly.
"Dani, this isn't Weekend At Bernies!" A young fawn bounded out of the forest, it stopped and looked at us. "Maybe we should go into the house...."
The fawn walked around each of us, sniffing. When it got up to Dani, it sniffed at her, then turned it's head and uttered a moo sound. The rustling in the forest picked up speed. Bill and Samantha ran into the house, I stayed behind with Dani. I looked at Dani, she looked at me, and smiled.
With the agility of a cat, Dani swooped up the fawn in her arms and put her right arm around it's neck. What was she doing? The whole damn Deer Army was inches away, and she's getting ready to murder another one in plain sight.
"Dani, put the baby deer down, no other woodland creatures have to get killed today."
"No, if we got a hostage, they won't hurt us." She had clearly lost it. Years of stress, lies, fears, pain; all of it boiling up in this moment. As cold as it sounds, I was worried about her more than the fawn.
"Dani, put the fawn down, we're in enough trouble already." Lots and lots of trouble.
The Bambi Battalion had arrived. First the bucks, followed by several does, and surprisingly many fawns. They blocked the driveway, the trails into the woods, and the path to the woodshed (where all the sharp implements are kept); but they did leave the path to the cabin open. We were being allowed a chance to just walk away. But I had a feeling Dani wouldn't let go of the fawn, and this would not be as simple as it could be.
"I can't, I can't. I have to hold it, it will hurt others if I let it go." Her grip began to loosen. Two of the bucks inched closer to her. I knelt down in front of her, so I was between her and the line of deer. I mouthed the words *Let it go* to her. Her grip loosened more, and finally the fawn dropped, and quickly ran off. I thought it was over. I heard on of the bucks behind me, but it was too late, I saw it's wide rack of antlers swing down towards me, I rolled to the side to avoid it. But Dani wasn't as lucky, the buck had knocked her to the ground. The buck watched me, kicking dust in the air with it's hooves.
I sat there, next to Dani, she began to stir. So I propped her head up on my knee, and stroked the hair from her face. She looked up and smiled, and said "Hello."
"I went a lil crazy."
She looked around, at all the bodies. Then looked back up at me. "We're going to need a really big hole."
I laughed and said, "Actually I have an idea.
Two days later the front yard looked like some sort of demented Sierra Clubhouse. We had sever deer hides tanning on the clotheslines, a big pile of antlers, and a sign up by the road that said "Free Deer Meat, Freshly Killed!"
I was outside packing up someone's car with ten deer steaks. They kept asking me where we got them all. All I could say was they kinda fell from the sky. After they left, I went back into the house. Dani was in the kitchen, masterfully managing to cook 5 differant things at once. The oven dinged.
"The Venison Souffle and Frenchfry Venison Casserole is ready. Hey there, how many did they take?" Both her hands were stirring pots, while her eyes remained focused on me.
"Only ten. I tried to get them to take twenty, but they thought I was crazy. So what's for dessert?"
"Fawn Ala Mode, chocolate dipped deer ears, and frosted veal cakes!"
"Sounds er...yummy." My stomach was doing sommersaults. We had been eating deer straight for the last few days. I would never eat it again after this trip.
On the following Monday, we packed all of our stuff back into my tiny car and headed back to Madison, back to the city, and back to our daily lives. A few things I knew for sure: I would never get the taste of venison out of my mouth, my Ford Festiva looked a hell of a lot cooler with a big rack of antlers bolted to the hood; and finally, none of us would ever forget the day the deer attacked.