Recently – while Boy Bumpercar and I were at the park, I saw a poor little baby deer who was stuck in the water run-off channel … For those of you that don’t know, the water run-off channel is like a tiny man-made stream with 4 foot rock walls and a cobblestone lining where water (from probably somewhere gross) flows from one place to another.
Anyway – today – there was a baby deer stuck in the water run-off channel – and it was my aim to save him.
So – I asked the one other person in the park – a mom with a little girl – for her advice. She said that she wasn’t sure if I should touch the deer – because then the mother wouldn’t want it back … I pointed out that she was maybe thinking of birds – and there was an awkward silence. I then said – “You know … I’m just going to hop in and put him on the bank.”
The woman kept referring to the deer as a ‘she’ …
We muddled through our differences of opinion and she agreed to watch Emerson – who was arms deep in his bag digging for candy that he had acquired at the Memorial Day parade – where he showed a particularly skilled acumen for candy gathering. When I hopped the fence – she actually said “Wow!”
I hate to brag – but – I am an olympic level fence jumper … I have the medals somewhere to prove it – I think.
Back to the deer – back to the deer – I know that you really want to know about the deer. I hopped down into the questionable water and slowly started to walk over to the terrified deer – making sure to not make any sudden movements and talking in a relaxed and measured voice. I kept saying “Hey buddy, I’m just here to help you. I’m your new best friend. I’m going to get you out of this. It’s okay, buddy … Everything is going to be okay … Everything is going to be alright …” and on and on – as I crept closer.
I got a couple of feet away – and started to lean to pick the deer up – when all of a sudden – it jumped up on its spindly little legs and clip-clap-skitter-skattered all over the cobblestones away from me.
There was no way that I was going to be able to catch a baby deer – and – I figured that if it kept on, it would eventually get to the end of the culvert and be able to find its way … My day was done … I had saved a baby deer!
I hopped back into the park all excited – there was no exclamation this time – and the woman basically took her kid and left – WITHOUT EVEN A GOODBYE! We had just saved nature … We were a team … I guess the pressure was too much for her to handle.
The boy-child and I started our swing regimen and about 20 minutes later – I hear a guy talking about this baby deer – and what about the baby deer – and what are we going to do abou the baby deer … I leaned over and asked if they had seen the baby deer – and at first – they acted like “Who is this guy asking us about the baby deer? Is he a friend of the deers? Should we be giving information to this guy at all?” – and then he said “Yeah, the deer is right there …”
He had come back! Right to the spot where he was when I had totally saved him before … I had another chance to save the environment!!
No one knew what to do – so – I called 911 (which is always such an odd thing to do). “911 what is your emergency?” came through my phone and I fumbled through an explanation of the situation … The woman sighed and said that someone was on the way.
A few minutes later, a police car drove down the walking path and parked next to the entrance to the playground … Everyone looked to see what the hubbub was about – I raised my hand and said that I was the one to call – and went through the whole story – again. The guy just looked at me, then looked over at the baby deer and – through a smirk – said “Listen. It’s a baby deer. What am I supposed to do?” I wasn’t sure how to respond … “Is it hurt?” I said that I didn’t think that it was (we were using the proper “it” terminology – finally) … He looked back and forth again and said “If it isn’t hurt, there really isn’t anything that we can do for it. It’ll figure out how to get out – or – it won’t.”
And that was it … He went back to his car and left. You got yourself into this, baby deer. Now figure out how to get out of it.
End of story? Of course not … There is still a deer to be saved!!
A crowd gathered around me when the police officer left to see what was going on – and I went through the ever growing story – again. There were probably about 25 people there … It was very exciting. There were some grandmothers lamenting the plight of the baby deer and a couple of people trying to figure out what to do about the situation – when – out of nowhere – someone yelled “I have a net!”
Me – being socially awkward – jumped in and said “Well then, problem solved! We have a net – and – we can throw it over the baby deer and ….. Have a baby deer in a net. Perfect!” – I was clearly joshing around – and people giggled. Sometimes people don’t giggle – they just take their kids and break up the team by leaving without saying goodbye …
I then decided to take charge … We would need a team of 3 – which I would be a part of. We would spread around the baby deer, pin it in and lift it out lickety-split. I just needed 2 volunteers and someone to watch my kid. Two guys were ready for the challenge. Emerson was left in the hands of a gaggle of grandmothers. Everything was coming together.
I hopped the fence, the crowd gasped, the other guys walked around the fence and someone yelled … “There’s the mother deer!!”
Indeed, there she was about 25 yards away, in the bushes. Was she nervous? Looking everywhere for her baby? NO! She was picking berries off of a bush and eating them one by one … Calm as a cucumber. Not a care in the world … Just berries, berries, berries on the brain.
We had to act!
My crack team of rescuers climbed down the rock wall and I called a huddle … I wanted to make sure that we were on the same page. You get the back, you get the middle and I’ll get the front. We all nodded and started moving in … I started my babble of “Hey buddy, I’m just here to help you. I’m your new best friend. I’m going to get you out of this. It’s okay, buddy … Everything is going to be okay … Everything is going to be alright …” and on and on – as we crept closer. They had their own versions of the babble.
It was around here that I realized that I had drawn the straw for what I like to refer to as the “bitey end” – as opposed to the “belly-belly” and the “poopy end” – and – it was definitely cause for some concern … Would I be bitten and have to get put down? Would I have to bite the deer back if it bit me? And, would we be blood brothers if that was the case? So many questions popped into my brain/mind.
We all stopped and pulled out our camera phones to capture the moment … because it isn’t every day that you are 3 feet from a baby deer who is stuck in a creek.
The crowd had swelled to around 30 – and there was silence in the air as everyone held their breath …. and we went for it.
Middle guy grabbed on, I got the neck and back guy fell backwards – catching himself – but – never really touching deer …We lifted and – as one – the crowd exhaled and the baby deer let out a loud bleat of what I can only assume was gratitude and thanks as it scampered through the brush – never to be seen again.
The crowd cheered.
It was ridiculously thrilling … A baby deer was saved.
After one last hop over the fence, I heard someone say “What a wonderful thing they did today … Just magnificent.”
I shook the hands of my crew of baby deer savers and then rushed out of the park … Because there was no way that I was going to do anything anywhere near as awesome as that – and I wanted to leave the crowd on a high-note … And also because I was moderately freaked out that I had creepy water and baby deer funk on me – and – I was anxious to scrub it all off toot-sweet.
Sometimes when we go to the park, I look out into the woods and I wonder … What is that baby deer doing now. Does he think of me and that day as much as I do? Does he miss all of the good times that we had together as much as I do? I’ll probably never find out – but – I can wonder – can’t I?
Yes, I can.