Thursday, August 25, 2005

Do Not Read This Post if You Are Squeamish, Sensitive, or a Deer Lover

Hitting the deer last night was an odd moment. Technically, we didn't hit it so much as it hit us - it literally jumped into our car's rear quarter panel. Dazed, it proceeded to wander directly into the path of the behemoth pickup behind us. By the time we turned around the other driver was already out of his truck, digging in his toolbox for a knife. The deer, not yet old enough to have lost its spots, gasped on its side in the middle of the road, its leg broken and its guts hanging out. It was not going to live.

This may be Wyoming, but no one had any guns. And let me be clear that there was never any question as to what was going to happen next. The hunters among us spoke about euthanasia with military coolness, not out of pity, but some moral code that I'd never bothered to think about before. The deer was suffering and it was dying. On that stretch of road there are no animal hospitals within 60 miles, no deer ERs where wounded little Bambis are nursed back to life. The proper thing to do – the only thing to do – was to end its suffering.

One RA (the driver of the truck) knocked it on the head to put it out. I stayed in the car as three RAs carried the unconscious deer to the ditch, where one of them bent over and cut its throat.

Violence is not funny. Gore is not particularly funny. But I think it's important to deal with trauma in whatever way you need to, even if your take seems macabre to others. I deal with these things through humor.

"You know," I said a few hundred feet down the road, "The other deer we passed looked at us like 'Shit. Guess we need a new left-fielder now.'"


Blogger Rosellen said...

A sense of humor is a gift and it can get one through rough patches. Specifically, I see it used with grace by chronic pain sufferers and their caregivers.

5:32 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

And ER physicians. :-)

8:16 AM  

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