Small towns and way too many deer.

That’s what’s on my mind today.

Yesterday, Bennett and I were driving down Barnett and about to take a right onto College Street. A pick-up truck was being pursued by two dogs. There was clearly a lead dog with a vision of glory and a sidekick, happy to suck on any tire it was so fortunate to catch. They raced across the “T” intersection, barking at the truck that was no doubt not in the mood to play. We turned right and, after catching up to the still-hot-in-pursuit canines, I did the thing you’re not supposed to do, which is use your phone while driving and, still less advisable, take a photo out the driver’s side window of two dogs in pursuit of a truck long gone ahead. We were going about 20 MPH max, so I figured…naw, I rationalized that it was ok. That’s where this shot came from. They gave me no nevermind. The vision was ahead.

Small town. Episode 1.

Small town, Episode 2. Today I get a text from a friend who said that Pint and Plow had found Bennett’s wallet. Now, I like Pint and Plow anyway. Jake and Brittany and the crew there are always nice, and their coffee is awesome. Their various rooms are great to get work done in, and I haven’t even commented yet on the quality food or their outdoor area and the occasional live music on the small stage in front. Finding the wallet was gravy. Truth is, Bennett was with me a couple weeks ago after he had a rough day and–as teenagers are wont to do–he lied down on the couch in the area that has armchairs, a coffee table with newspapers, magazines and history books on Kerrville, and on most days, is occupied by people who definitely never lie down on couches in public. It was lost then, because someone found it today under a cushion. Bennett’s wallet had a good amount of money he had earned working over the previous few weekends, and we all had been frantically looking for it and retracing our steps.

“Hope this falls in the plus column for small town living,” my friend texted.

Preach it, brother.

Now about the deer.

I used to love deer.

“Bucolic” was a word I often associated with them, and I heard imaginary flute music in my inner ear when conjuring up an image of one.

Yet down one car since selling Gracie (my Ford Contour to which I gave a name to soften my feelings toward it, which otherwise would have been begrudging thankfulness), Karen and I were driving late last night and there were deer…Everywhere. You who live here know what I mean. Everywhere. Pulling out from our street onto the main street in this development, there were deer on either side, eyes glowing, and I felt oddly like I’d entered a Gentle Zombie Apocalypse. Like they were going to trot toward me and then lick me to death. The scariest part though, and truly it made me detest driving at night, is that they are as stupid as slugs–and I mean that in the most loving way–when it comes to their behavior near roads. On our drive a few miles long, three deer ran across my path with fifty feet of the car. Today I saw the corpse of a fawn on the shoulder of Junction Highway and knew that some other driver had probably been equally cautious as I last night but not so lucky.

I don’t have a solution.

But when driving with my loved ones at night, my motto with deer is the same as it is with zombies: better that I kill them, then they kill us.

That’s why there’s venison jerky.


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