Good morning Everyone!
Kayla was talking to me this morning about seeing three doe on the side of the road the other evening grazing, which reminded me about Kayla’s traumatic deer incident.
Not many children carry a fear of deer, I realize, but I can trace this particular fear, which has only recently resolved, to a house-hunting expedition when she was almost five. We were in a small town looking at houses, when we walked into one split-level ranch-style home with two bedrooms in what most people would think of as a basement area.
In one bedroom, someone apparently had thought it would be funny to take a deer head that was mounted to hang on a wall and instead tuck it neatly into a bed in the room.
That someone was not parent to an almost five-year old named Kayla. She entered the room, and started to tremble all over. Once we finally figured out what she was scared of, we scooted her out of there in a hurry, only to be told by her that she was certain that she saw the deer wink at her, and she could see its hooves in the bed peeking out at her!
Have you ever tried to reason with a four-year old? I don’t recommend it, unless it is on a critical, concrete safety issue such as not playing with the stove or electrical plugs. Apparently, a four-year old can understand avoidance of pain, but not logic with respect to the fact that mounted deer heads are not alive and do not have legs.
Ever since that day, any house hunting expedition or discussion of buying a house is prefaced by her trembling query, “But not the deer house, Mama. Right?”
I personally am not nearly as afraid of mounted deer heads as I am of the kamikaze squirrels that live along the roads that lead to our house. I do not know what possesses these squirrels, but they run across the road recklessly regardless of approaching vehicles. Usually, in the spring time, you have one or two young squirrels that unfortunately are not smart enough to realize that running across the road, especially immediately in front of approaching cars, is generally not good for a squirrel’s health, but this spring, in our town, I have seen very large, healthy older squirrels skittle across the road without the slightest hesitation while I hit the brakes with all my might, steer to the side, swing my right arm out across Kayla’s chest as if my arm can protect her if neither the seat belt nor the air bag do, and pray that I miss the squirrel as well as the hill on my side of the road. The squirrels may not be suffering any anxiety from their lifestyle, but it’s about to give me nightmares!
All of which makes me wonder if, instead of simply comfortable but slightly stupid squirrels, my neighborhood is populated by evil squirrels hatching a sinister plot to take over the neighborhood through forcing every vehicle in it to wreck, thereby requiring the residents of the Sherwood Forest neighborhood (no lie, that is my neighborhood’s name) to have to walk everywhere. And after our neighborhood, what lies next for the squirrels? The town, the county, the state, the country and then the world! This theory is bolstered by the (out of neighborhood/out of county) squirrel that lies in wait for Mark on his way to work every day, ready to scurry across the road immediately in front of his car as soon as the squirrel sees it.
Maybe that’s why dogs always want to chase squirrels…
Have a great day everyone!
That is hilarious about the deer in the bed. I bet that was scary looking!!!
It was scary looking to her, anyhow!
I’m sorry to hear that the deer head incident had such a lasting impact on Kayla 😦 It reminds me of the horse’s head in the Godfather movie – horrible. I’m not that keen on squirrels – in addition to scampering everywhere they also bite!
I forgot about the horse head scene in the Godfather! The deer head was not nearly that bad, although I do wonder about the blinking and the hooves!
Once upon a time I saw a study done about a genus of spider that lived in two different environments. Fortunately the environments was on one hill. The spiders at the top of the hill were agressive while the spiders at the bottom of the hill were not. I forget why but think it was due to some mating habit. It was a controlled environment. I have often wondered if a study could be done on squirrels who did or did not cross the road. Is there a genetic or environmental reason a squirrel crosses the road just as a car approaches? In other words do they breed that way? Or is it just happenstance? Do squirrels who use telephone wires have a greater survival rate than those who use the roads? I have yet to figure out how such a study could be conducted to find out those answers.
I think that the results of a study would be very interesting. I’m not sure you could design a controlled study but maybe field work could provide an answer? It is amazing to me how little science studies some of the creatures that surround us the most. In fact, it was only a few years ago that animal scientists began to study the domestic dog seriously in terms of its behavior and habits.
As a kid my parents use to have a deer head that hung in the basement. I use to talk to it like it was my best friend. I blame the deer for my quirkiness 😉
Then we all should be very grateful to that deer head, without which your blog would not exist! 🙂
LOL! I never thought of it that way 😉