Last night on the way home from church, my son Allen alerted me to a deer that was just about ready to jump out onto the road in front of our Tahoe. That Allen has a pretty keen eye and has saved me and/or a deer from grief in the past. He’s a good pair of eyes to have riding “shotgun” when you’re traveling.
He asked if Dad or I had ever hit a deer. We had, once, but I told him that wasn’t the most interesting thing I’d hit. In fact, I’ve hit a couple of rather interesting critters in my time.
When I was around 17, I worked at the Fulton Public Library. I usually drove home around 10 p.m. or so and on this particular evening, it was rainy and dark. (Don’t all great tales start with it was a dark and rainy night?) The road between town and our farm was very hilly and had many blind curves. I had just started down a particularly big hill near my great-uncle Brent’s house, when something darted out in front of the pick-up. THUMP, I heard and I skidded to a stop.
I got out of the truck, heart pounding, to see what it was. There, lying in the road in front of the truck was a billy goat. I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t know where the goat had come from or who it belonged to, but, I was scared to death. The next thing was to look at the truck and see if it was damaged. After all, it wasn’t my truck. It belonged to Mom and Dad and I would be called on to explain any dents, scratches or marks that appeared.
I didn’t know what to do, so, as in most every situation, I quickly drove the rest of the way home and ran into the house to get my Dad. He’d know what to do. He didn’t seem terribly concerned—after all, I’d woken him from a perfectly comfortable slumber and he wasn’t eager to pull on his clothes and go back out in the rain. But, I was emphatic about going to check on that goat in the road, so, my Papa did his fatherly duty and out we went.
We drove back to the spot and got out. And looked. And looked. And looked some more. No goat.
“What do you think happened to it?” I asked my Dad. He grinned and said that like most goats, it probably had a pretty hard head. I’d likely only stunned it and after I left it had probably gotten up, shaken itself off and went merrily on its way.
All that panic for nothing. Stupid goats should stay out of the road anyhow. Too bad not all creatures have such hard heads. Tomorrow I’ll tell you all about the time I took my kids bowling for buzzards…