Sunday, December 19, 2004

Deer John

Once upon a time, in a kingdom not so far away that was called Misty Mountain, there lived a crazy man named John and his family. hehe ..

Crazy was out mowing the field one day on the tractor, we had a huge field .. well they still have it actually, but I dont live there now so I have to say "we had" .. anyway! .. they live on a 64 acre farm, which I may have mentioned in previous CrazyMan stories. Wow y'all are distracting .. lost my train of thought.

ok got it back, anyway, CM was out mowing the hay (which is dried up grass, for all of y'all non-countryfied people) 'cause now that they don't have cows anymore, they sell the hay to people that need it. For what? you ask .... well for their cows. geez y'all ask some silly questions.

anyway! while he was mowing, a doe (that would be a female deer, in this case a mama deer) .. leaped out of the tall grass and took off into the woods. CM stopped the tractor, climbed down and went looking around for a fawn (which is a baby deer *grins*) Mommy deer teach their babies to stay very very still and quiet so that they stay hidden .. and then they create a distraction .. like running off into the woods .. which is kinda dumb 'cause then they leave their babies out there unattended and what if they were hidden really good and then the mommy couldn't find them ..then the baby would grow up thinking it was abandoned by it's mother and have psychological problems and have to go to deer counselors and years down the road the mommy might go to the Oprah show or something looking for her long lost baby .. and then be reunited and just find out that the mom was really just dumb and misplaced her baby!
hm, uh .. anyway ...

CM looked and looked for a baby for about 45 minutes and didn't see one, so he figured the doe was just a spaz and he got back on the tractor and continued mowing. Well obviously mama deer ... you know, the dumb one that was eventually going to cause her baby to need counseling .. had hidden the baby, who was only about 3 days old, very well, 'cause after about 20 minutes ... CM hit it with the tractor and ended up cutting one of his back legs off.

Well, CM, being the animal lover that he is, did his best to stop the bleeding and raced down the hill to the house and called a family friend, who was a physician, and had him come up to the house to stitch the little guy up. When my sisters were very little, CM had built them a playhouse, a replica of the house we lived in (which he also built) .. and this playhouse became a home for the baby deer until he was healed up.

All of us were a part of his recovery and his raising ... we fed him goat's milk from a baby bottle and the girls named him Freckles ... 'cause fawns (for those of you that don't remember, that's a baby deer *giggle*) have little white spots on them when they're babies. Well Freckles became a part of the family pretty quickly. He was very tame, very playful and thought CM was his mother. He would come up on the front porch and stomp around if he wanted to play and we were all inside. He and the dog played tag for hours out in the front yard .. but if CM was outside, which is normally is during the day, Freckles was right on his heels .. following him everywhere, just content to be close to him :)

We all loved our little deer very much .. he was just precious. But as he grew older, CM thought that he needed to be back in the wild with his fellow deer ... everyone around us knew about the deer and that they were to leave him alone when they were deer hunting and such .. and just to make sure, we tagged his ear with a big orange tag so people would know that it was him ... 'cause he wandered further and further from the house as he got older.

Well, CM decided that after about a year it was time to teach him to be afraid of humans .. the first step in returning him to the wild. I was not privvy to this information .. well, actually he probably told me this and I wasn't listening .. at any rate, I didn't know that this was his plan.

So, one day .. I drove up the road to the house (we lived a mile up a mountain, no neighbors for at least a half a mile) .. as I rounded the bend to the driveway, there were CM and Freckles out in the front yard. CM stopped what he was doing, looking rather startled and turned around toward the car ... freezing in place, except for one hand which was held behind him at the belt of his jeans, flicking his hand at the wrist (a human deer tail). Freckles followed suit. I was watching them wondering what they were up to now.

As I passed the Poplar tree .. CM bolted .. his hands up on either side of his head, fingers wiggling (his deer ears) as he ran for the tree-line with Freckles on his heels as they dove into the trees.

By this time, of course, I was laughing so hard that I nearly ran right into the barn. Just as I started to compose myself ... I glanced towards the woods and up popped two heads ... one sable deer head and one with a leather hat and wiggly finger ears ... which of course made the giggling start again.

I FINALLY managed to get into the house, without dissolving into hysterical giggling because of all the head popping action going on over at the tree line ... and looked at my mother and said ... WHAT is he doing out there?!

she rolled her eyes with a bemused grin and said .... He thinks he's a deer .. and is teaching Freckles to be afraid of humans.

He did this for a few weeks, ya never knew when ya might see two little heads popping up from behind bushes to see what was going on .. and it always made me giggle to see him doing it lol .. but, surprisingly enough, it worked. Freckles joined a small herd of deer that stayed right around our property ... he'd come to visit every once in a while .. would sidle up to ya out of nowhere wanting a pat on the nose or to nudge us playfully ... or for a twilight game of tag with the dog, Annie. *smile* After a couple years we quit seeing him anymore ... we know what probably happened to him, but we like to think that he's moved on to greener pastures and is still frolicking with his buddies in the woods :)