Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

Watch Your Back: When Deer Stalk

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It was a beautiful fall day a few years ago when I decided to go on a 7 mile run after I dropped my daughter off to play rehearsal.  It was late in the day but I figured I could get my run done before the sun began to set around 6pm.  I drove my car out to the far west side of town to Miami Whitewater to run their beautiful trail.

I was less than a mile from the stopping point when I saw something up ahead of me on the path.  First it was just a few but as some left more came and just stood there looking at me.  My pace slowed and eventually I stopped as I looked at the animals.  There was no one else on the trail; it was only me and these large animals I thought were deer but I was unsure.  I thought to myself, they can’t be wild dogs or coyotes because they would have come after me but if they are deer why aren’t they seeing me and clearing off the path?  I was standing several yards away from, dusk was coming in and the animals were standing stock still and staring at me.  I’ll admit, I got punked off the path.

I thought I could walk down the road and wind up at the end by the parking lot.  But, no.  Not to happen.  I wandered around aimlessly in the boonies for over an hour and a half.  There were no sidewalks, no signs and, even worse, no black faces.  A guy in a pick up came and asked me if I had lost my way off the path and if I wanted a ride and I quickly told him no thanks.  I wondered how close I was to the Indiana border and where the effe were the police cars.  If they wanted to pick me up for suspicion on the cause of being black I would have gladly jumped in the back if it could have gotten me to my car quickly.

Soon I was away from the woods and in a residential area.  Finally I thought I could get some directions and hopefully a shortcut back to my car.  I began knocking on doors but no one would answer.  It was a Sunday night, about 6 pm so maybe they were still at church.  Finally I came to a house and a man answered the door.  He told me to go back the way I came and quickly shut the door in my face. 

I’m headed back the way I came.  It was completely dark and only the light of the moon and an occasional street lamp lit my way.  I wondered if I was going to be found dead on the side of the road run over by a car.  I thought about how long it would take to find and identify my body and who would get custody of my daughter.  I also tried to strategize a way back to my vehicle without having to go back through the woods when God sent a SAINT my way.  It was a young mother with kids in the back.

“Have you lost your way off the path?” she asked. 

I was on the verge of tears when I told her I had.  She offered me a ride back to my car and told me it happened quite a lot around there.

On my way back to the car the path was completely dark but you can feel the eyes on you.  Every now and again the van’s headlights illuminated a spot in the woods and there were hundreds of eyes peering at us from behind the trees.  There were groups of deer just staring at us, watching us and (I felt as if they were) waiting.

I got back to my car safe.  You don’t know how happy I was.  I thanked the woman profusely and I still send out blessings her way because I was scared out of my mind.  My cell phone was in my car as always because I never carry it when I go out for a jog and it held a couple of messages from my daughter who wanted me to know play rehearsal was ending an hour early at 8pm.  It was after 7 already, I had been lost in the area for a little over two hours.

 As I drove out of the park I kept my eyes on the road and not up the hills into the trees but I knew they were there watching me.

When I picked my daughter up I told her my story and she laughed at me.

“You were punked out by deer?” she was in disbelief and laughing at me.

“They were menacing deer,” I said.  “I don’t know if they were really deer, they could have been coyotes.”

“It was deer,” she said chuckling at me.

At the time J and I had just started a relationship and I immediately went home and called him to find solace.

“You left the path because of deer?” he said.  What is wrong with people?  Deer are some big-ass animals.  They have hooves and horns.  They are mean. 

“They were going to attack me,” I said.  “They were mean mugging me.  They just stood looking at me like ‘Yeah, whassup, b’.  They were waiting for me.”

He just laughed at me.  “They could have been wild dogs! It could have been coyotes.”

“What did their tails look like?”

“I …. think they were short and white… But it was from far away.  I couldn’t be sure.”  J started to laugh harder and tried to reassure me it was deer and I was safe.

So, yesterday I had to work the Taste of Cincinnati and I had the bright idea for my daughter and I to walk from downtown to her grandmother’s house in Walnut Hills.  I told my daughter I knew a shortcut which would help us bypass walking up the big long hill of Gilbert Ave and take us up a steep hill in Mt. Adams.  From there we would cut through Eden Park  and then be in Walnut Hills.

We had just left the steep hill where my daughter was berating me for my crazy short cuts that was killing her calves and rounding the street around Playhouse in the Park when my daughter spotted them.

“There go your friends,” my daughter said.  She was pointing to two deer that was under a shelter nibbling on grass.  She thought she was being funny to bring up the incident that happened about three years ago but I have learned my lesson.

“Let’s cross the street,” I said.  A van passed by with a black dude who looked at us and then the deer and back at us.  He laughed at us.  F him, I thought.  He’s in a car.  That’s when a doe looked over at us and stared.

“Come on, come on lets cross the street,” I said.  Reluctantly my daughter crossed the street with me but then we looked back and noticed the doe was following us.

“Its following us,” my daughter said.  I told her to come on and began to quicken my pace.  The deer followed us across the street and we began to walk down the path that lead to the Pavillion.  Eden Park is an inner city park and the pavillion benches had left over bags of fast food.

“I thought that was someone lying on the bench,” my daughter said but I was moving fast.  This time I had my cellphone on me and I called, of all people, J. He didn’t pick up.  Cricket had on gym shoes and I had on sandals and we were both a bit tired from the trip up the hill but found a second wind to breeze quickly past the benches and rounded the pavilion.

“Ma, they are running after us,” my daughter said.  She had looked back one more time.   “They are coming around the other side.” 

My daughter began to run and my cell rang.  It was J.

“The deer are after us!” I screamed into the phone.  “Cricket!  Cricket stop running they will chase you!”

“The deer aren’t after you,” J said.

“Yes, they are!  Yes they are!”

“Where are you at?”

“Eden park.”

“They aren’t coming after you,” he said reassuringly.  By that time I was closer to mirror lake.  They hadn’t rounded the corner and Cricket stopped running but a far distance ahead of me.  I know if they caught up with me she’d leave me behind in the dust.

“Why are you calling me?  What can I do? ” he asked.  “Why didn’t you call 911?” He was being snarky.

“Next time I will,” I said and hung up the phone.

We were walking past mirror lake and talking excitedly.

“I didn’t believe you before,” she said.  “You have to be in it to believe it.”  But as we moved further away from the deer she began to hypothosize about what made them come after us.  They could smell our fear, they wanted the leftover food, or they remembered me from the other side of town and wanted to get me.

“You have bad karma,” my daughter said.  “The deer want to get you.”

Its hard to believe that deer are dangerous.  Usually when we think of them we visualize them hightailing it away from us or remember the movie Bambi.  But with suburban sprawl and fewer hunters deer are losing their fear of humans and attacks are on the rise.  As much as Americans like to Disney-fy animals we have to realize that they are wild creatures, not docile animals for human enjoyment.

“Disney lied to us,” my daughter said as we neared her grandmother’s house.  “They have you thinking they are all sweet and nice, but they aren’t.  I’m glad Bambi’s mother got killed.  And I’m no friend of Thumper anymore either.”


Written by rentec

29 May, 2007 at 6:18 pm

Posted in killer deer

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