In which I ramble incoherently to rationalize my fear of deer, dead and alive.

I saw my first deer corpse of the season yesterday. Two of them actually, all sprawled out and strapped to the back of a truck. The whole scene sort of made me want to do one of two things: go into convulsions and/or scream. I did neither. However, I thought about it.

I am not bothered by deer hunting. Hunt away, Ye Folks in Blaze Orange! In fact, Dad used to shoot down Ol’ Bambi and Friends when I was growing up. Hooray, Dad! Bang, bang! However, I hold Dad personally responsible for my earth-shaking fear of All Things Deer.

So, today I bring you: Why Do I Hate Deer? Let Me Count the Ways (In no part particular order because, really, we’re talking deer corpses here, and that’s gross, and there is absolutely no way to determine which bloody carcass haunts my nightmares more intensely than another).

And so I begin…

Because one time, Dad had a deer, which was very, very much in no way alive, strapped to the roof of his vehicle. And that dead deer, well, his head hung out over the windshield, and his tongue was out, and it was frozen to the glass, and it had drool sliding into my line of vision. And seriously, why? I hate you dead deer.

Because I won’t forget the image of deer legs bouncing about above my head as they were strapped to the roof of the car. I could see them hanging over the edge when I would lie in the back seat and look out the window. And deer legs, in case you were wondering, are all knobby and whatnot, and also hoof-y, and again, not alive.

Because, one time, I was quite young, and also stupid, and also looking for my mom because, MOM, I need you! Where are you? I’m going to run to the garage and look for you! And when I opened the door, there stood Dad, knife in hand, blood on clothes, and SKINNED DEER CARCASS hanging from the rafters. And this is the point in my life when I knew it was possible to almost drop dead right there on the spot.

Dear God, Why me? Write back soon. Sincerely, Krista, who is, like, 7, and just saw Dad, and also a deer carcass, and furthermore a lot of blood, and HELP ME.

I did manage this, however, “Where’s Mom?”

Because Deer Which Are Not Alive At All Due To Bullet Holes in Torsos, Etc. used to lie on the garage floor, awaiting the knife, and that’s also where my banana seat bicycle sat, and Jesus H. Christ, is that BLOOD splattered on my bicycle tire? I think it is. So, if you need me, I’m probably 8, and have the blood of an animal on my bicycle tire, which got too close to a carcass, which was in my garage.

Because another time, Mom brought The Sister and I to school in Dad’s Post-Hunting Vehicle, and it was covered in Deer Blood. And it looked like before Mom dropped us off at the doors of our middle school, we first massacred a small town of women and children. And, hi, we’re ready for school now! And, yes! That is blood on the roof of our car!

Because God has no soul, and I came home one night after a Girl Scout meeting to find the severed TONGUE of a deer on the door handle because, ha, ha, let’s watch Krista drop dead right here on the front porch. And also, in case you were curious, a severed deer tongue looks a lot like a giant wad of bubble gum. Only not because it’s a TONGUE.

Because I opened the lid to the trash can behind the house one afternoon, and lo and behold, there’s a severed deer head inside! Because, where else do you dispose of dismembered deer parts but in the garbage can outside? In which Krista learns, never ever open the trash can during deer hunting season, and also stay out of the garage.

And I mean, really, does one need any more reasons? I don’t think so. And now that my family sounds like they stepped straight out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I assure you, they did not. And we are quite normal. And Dad no longer hunts. And I no longer find dismembered deer carcass in the trash can.

Thank God.