Monday, March 08, 2004

Bambi - Sweet Forest Creature or Satan's Minion?

If you randomly poll 100 people and ask them what animal are you most afraid of, you'll more than likely hear answers of tigers, lions, bears, snakes...the usual scary creatures that could kill you in an instant with either claws, teeth or venom. But one or two people might actually say "Deer." and shudder violently with the thought of running across one of those scary, vile animals.

My mother is one of those rare people that would say she's scared of deer. When she was little she used to have nightmares that the house was surrounded by a band of evil deer that were just waiting for her to come outside so they could get her. If she waited too long, they were just going to attack the house.

Not only did these nightmares plague her but when I was months old, my mom & a friend of hers were driving through the mountains. Off the side of the highway was a tall chain link fence. A giant buck was standing on the other side. According to Mom, when the buck caught sight of the car something snapped in his brain. Keeping his beady little deer eyes on the vehicle, he jumped the fence and attacked the car, ramming his head into the passenger side (my mom's side, of course) then running off into the wilderness. My mom swears to this day that "That deer was on a mission!"

Where I work, we're basically at the base of Cheyenne Mountain. We get a lot of wildlife wandering around, such as raccoons, foxes, coyotes, skunks and yes, deer. Tons of deer. I go walking every night about midnight around the area and at least once a week, I see one of these animals. My mom is terrified that I'll be attacked by an ancestor of the Deer On A Mission. The only time I was ever startled by a deer was the first night I went walking by myself. There's a field across the street from work and the sidewalk is edged by giant, low-hanging trees. Just as I walked by the trees, a huge buck came flying out of the trees up onto the sidewalk. We both stopped dead in our tracks and stared at the other. He was more scared of me than I was of him and he turned and ran away.

Last night at work, I was talking to Terry. He's from New Jersey and just a funny, funny guy. The conversation turned to the area wildlife. We talked about how the geese that populate the area think they own the roads and how the one time Terry almost hit one that was crossing the road, he got The Look of Death from the goose in question. I actually saw the was funny. Anyway, Terry was telling me that when he first started there years ago, the building to the south of ours hadn't been built yet and there was just a grassy field. Terry went outside to smoke and there in the grass was a big ol' deer.

Now, I mentioned that he's from Jersey...apparently they don't have deer back there or if they do, the residents don't ever actually have any interaction with them because Terry admits he was scared out of his mind. He wanted to turn and run back inside but you can't get in the doors without swiping your badge and waiting for the click. Terry knew that he'd never make it; by the time he swiped his badge, the deer would have crashed through the glass outer doors and eaten him whole with those sharp, deer teeth!

Of course, Terry made it inside safely because, as deer are prone to when they see a human, it ran away. A few days later, Terry said he went outside to smoke and was attacked by the dog of one of our maintenance men. After the interaction with the deer, he almost had a heart attack when the big black dog showed up out of the shadows and jumped on his lap, looking for a puppy kiss.

I'm not scared of deer...I think they're cute. Famous last words...

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