Deer Here

York County is country.  Farms and fields, acre after acre.  Woods and animals, mile after mile…

Practice went well and the whole team was pumped for the game the following afternoon.  I loaded up the van with our gear: bats, balls, gloves, helmets.  Half the team depended on me for a ride to the games.  Anything smaller than a van wasn’t going to get us to the ball field.

It was getting dark after dropping off my team mates.  I was exhausted after a long day of classes, followed by practice, followed by delivering my girls to their homes.  Calculus was on my brain, calculating how long it would take to do my homework after a hot, relaxing shower.  The showering thoughts made me sigh.

He came out of nowhere.  My mind was still lingering on the shower when the white of his chest caught my eye, just not quickly enough.  I slammed on the brakes.  They squealed loud, the rear of the van began to fish-tail.  The impact slowed my momentum but sped up my heart rate.

I put the van in park to see how much damage he did.  The front passenger side was crushed.  Headlight obliterated, turn signal broken and hanging from various wires.  Damn it!  I walked around to the side and realized the door was also crushed.  Fucking deer.  Must have swung around to do double damage, just my luck.

It was completely dark now and I only had one headlight.  I glanced over at the fucking buck, my guts twisting when I realized he wasn’t dead.  All that damage to my van and the son of a bitch is still kicking two of his four legs.  One was missing completely and the other bent at an unnatural angle.  This didn’t stop him from attempting to get up.  His struggling, snorting and blood coming from various injuries should have evoked sympathy for the white-tail.  It didn’t.

I walked to the back of my van and opened one of the double doors.  I pulled out the team’s equipment bag and dragged it around to the front.  Two solid swings and his escape attempts ceased.

“You’re outta here!” I yelled, to no one in particular.

Just say go


 The race was on! It was just the two of them but it made no difference. The determined look on her face was so serious. His toothy grin showed his confidence of taking the win. Their cheeks were red and foreheads sweaty as they waited to hear the word “go!”

“She gets a head start because she’s two years younger than you.”

“Fine, I’ll still smoke her!” he responded.

“You have to run around the garage too.” Rolling his eyes he agreed to the rules, “Just say go twice so I know when I can run.” 

“Ready, set, go!” I yell cheerfully. She took off in the wrong direction confusing all three of us. “Come back and we will start again.” I tell her giggling at the silliness. She returns to the start line, hands on her hips like I had sent her in the wrong direction. “Run around the house and back to here as fast as you can ok?” I asked. She nods her head, eager for the restart. “Go again!” I shout and this time she bolts in the correct direction. Her chubby little legs pumping up and down in sync with her chunky arms she tore around the first corner. I could hear her feet pounding the ground until she made the second turn just past the air conditioning unit.

“Go!” I shouted again and he was off like a heat-seeking missile. His lean arms and legs sharply contrasted hers and were seriously engaged in the race.  He was making tracks to catch his opponent with the head start and less ground to cover. They both disappeared around the front of the house and I turned to watch for their reappearance.

She made the final turn of the lap, leaping onto the stepping stones separating the house from the garage. I had a brief glimpse of him as he zipped by to round the garage. He impressed me with his speed. She took the last few steps, slowing down as she came to the finish line. “Yes!” she shouted, raising her hands in the air as a sign of sweet victory. He came from behind the garage just in time to see her triumphant finish. Not slowing down, he threw himself to the ground rolling across the finish with enthusiasm only a seven year old could possess.

His spectacular finish did not impress her. She pointed to his jeans and said, “You got dirty knees now.”

“Yeah, I know.” He responded while I calculated how much prewash would be needed to get the stains out. Slightly winded but showing no sign of defeat he leaped to his feet. “Aunt Pattie, will you say go again?” he asked.

“Absolutely!” I answered, wondering how many laps it would take for them to be ready for bed at 8PM.


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