Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh Dear, Deer and Driving

There I was, on my way to run some fun errands with my radio blaring
and just howling along with the radio, when I suddenly stopped
singing. I saw a deer that had recently been struck. The poor thing
was suffering but unable to move. Those big eyes just held mine for
a moment and I wished there was something I could do. I guess all
the recent development in the area is forcing the deer out of their
homes and onto the roads.

That poor creature who should be having the time of its life, running
around, eating and doing whatever else deer do. Cut short. (Sigh)

Reminds me of my younger days. Out in the country while I was busy
growing up, there were always farmers busy working in their fields.
Many of their young sons, and I mean ages of 12 and 13, were
helping. I used to pass by the cotton or corn fields and see my
friends driving those big combines and plows. I wonder if there is
an age requirement now for that. Back then, it appeared that being
old enough to drive meant being able to reach the pedals. I can't
tell you how many boys I knew also were allowed to drive the trucks
around the countryside, without benefit of a driver's license.

Not only did those young boys drive around, they also all went deer
hunting. They used to ask if I wanted to go with them. Daddy always
asked what type of deer (or dear) hunting they were after. No
matter. I didn't go because I just love Bambi way too much.

I also can't tell you the name of the boy who perished when he and a
deer had a collision. Oh, it was just awful. The boy swerved to
miss the deer that had jumped in front of him. The deer hit the
windshield and came through. The boy was pawed to death. Oh, it was
just horrible.

Deer were always jumping out in front of cars out there. There
certainly wasn't a problem with extinction out in the woods.

My mama had a steadfast rule. Well, she had many, but we'll only
chat about one of them. She absolutely put her foot down at any of
us driving before we were of a legal age to do so. And, there was no
budging mama when her mind was set. No sirreeeeeeee.

Poor daddy had to listen to us all complain bitterly that we couldn't
do what our friends did. Wait a minute-- time just doesn't change,
does it? Anyway, one day, when I was 14 and able to reach the pedals
and see over the steering wheel, daddy relented and let me behind the
wheel. Now to be fair, it was a deserted, empty road that didn't
have a 100 cars a day on it. I think it was more for the tractors to
get from field to field. Well, daddy spoiled me rotten and let me
drive.

I started off pretty well. I went slow. I felt so grown up. I had
arrived.

Well, not only did my confidence soar, so did the really big brown
animal. Yes, it was at that precise moment a deer decided to go to
the other side of the road. If only he could have waited for 3
seconds. Maybe even just 2 seconds. He didn't.

He bounded out in front of the car. I screamed. I put my hands over
my eyes. I tried to go into the fetal position.

Lucky for me, daddy grabbed the steering wheel, got my attention and
stopped the car. No damage done to the car.

Now, we couldn't tell mama. We couldn't tell anyone. If mama had
found out, there would have been big prices to pay for both daddy and
me. So we changed the story to where he was the one behind the wheel
when we got the big scare.

Daddy did compliment me on taking my foot off the gas. He suggested
that I should reconsider taking my hands off the wheel.

You know, I finally did tell mama the story. I just couldn't keep it
in any longer. Of course daddy had been long passed over by that
time, and I was grown and married. I figured that maybe enough time
had gone by to where she would be willing to forgive both daddy and
me. I was right.

So, enjoy the day, ladies. I'm off to find my adventures for the
day. And to see if I can find a little something for the "dear" in
my life.

Miss Etta

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