Twenty miles outside Austin, just into the hill country, the morning mist lingers in gossamer pockets. A retired Nana and bonafied city girl, with a life-long unsatisfied love of horses, I thoroughly enjoyed my part-time job doing light housekeeping, cooking for Sally and caring for her two horses
From her wheelchair by the big bay window Sally looked out through the huge bay windows at the corral where a single deer was grazing – on grass meant for the horses.
“Look at that deer! You just can’t get rid of ‘em!”
“You want me to go yell at them, Sally?”
“Yes, would you , please.”
I stopped stirring the oatmeal, ran out the side door into the garage and burst through the outer door like a one-woman SWAT Team, albeit not nearly as fast.
You have to remember that I grew up in the sixties, when Westerns ruled prime time television. My brothers and I laid on the floor, with Daddy in his recliner, and watched every weekly episode of “Rawhide”, “Bonanza”, “High Chapparal”, to name just a few. Western movies, and especially ones starring John Wayne, were better than ice cream.
So, I had seen cowpokes and horse wranglers, waiving their lariats and yelling “Yeehaw! With great intensity, I attempted to duplicate that motion now, flapping my long arms in place of a lariat.
Well, several things happened all at once – and all in slow motion, to remain forever frozen in my mind. Since moving to Texas, I had often heard what effect deer had when they collided with a car.
First, that lone deer jumped straight up and high-tailed it, literally, toward the larger pasture to the right of the barn and corral. Second, in the same instant, both horses also jumped but, thank the good and merciful Lord, did not bolt. Now, the third thing is where things got interesting.
Third, the deer who had been behind the house to the left, hidden from my view as he munched on the bushes next to the oak tree, leaped and soared within five feet of me on his way to the same pasture as the others. Fourth, his or her companion, two short seconds slower, ran behind me, this time within three feet. It was getting crowded I guess on the only pathway away from the obviously insane human.
Fifth, I stood still – for how long, I don’t know, reflecting that what I had just done was not the wisest move I had ever made. Sixth, a bit shakily I turned and went back inside, pondering what I knew happened when a deer and a car collided. What would a full-steam ahead dear and human collision look like? Not so great for the human, I was sure of that.
Sally and I got a good laugh, but I think about it every time I see a deer, which is often. Next Christmas, I don’t think I’ll laugh so hard when I hear that song “Grandma got run over by the reindeer.” Nana almost did!