“The best way to judge a person is by their fears.”
Seeing as this is my first post, I thought it would be appropriate to share an interesting fact about yours truly. Assuming you’ve read the title of this post, I bet you’re already judging me as a person. Well if that is the case, I suggest you read the following story in order to gain perspective on what is seemingly a black and white issue. The Deer Fear is real.
This story began a few years ago…
My small legs kicked the damp, fallen leaves as I grumpily trudged my way to school. It had only been a year since my parents had decided that I was old enough to walk myself to school. I was not concerned at all with the situation, seeing as I was starting seventh grade that year and therefore would be commencing my adulthood. The fact that my best friend of twelve years lived down the street and would be joining me on my walk into adulthood also eased my nerves. However on that early autumn morning as I reached the corner where I had met my friend for the past one hundred and eighty or so mornings, I was instead met with her absence. Instead of panicking and letting one of my all too familiar anxiety attacks take over, I am proud to admit I waited an entire ten minutes before snatching my hand-me-down flip phone out of my jacket and slamming in the digits of my best friends number.
I waited for what felt like ten years instead of ten seconds before I heard the tired voice of my friend’s grandmother as she told me my friend had gotten sick from a virus that I had been infected with not a week ago, and would therefore be staying home this morning. My first reaction had been extreme aggravation. There was absolutely no way my friend was in any way sick. She obviously faked being sick to miss a day of school. (Or so I thought, years later I was informed she was in fact sick, and did in fact receive the virus from me.)
But where did that leave me? Due to my friend’s selfish sickness, I was left alone on the corner, cowering from the path of adulthood. It was then that I decided I would become a mature adult that early autumn morning and I acted as any mature adult would. I called my mommy. As it seemed another ten years passed she finally answered. I frantically told her my plight and waited to hear her sigh, and tell me to stay where I was so she could take me to school herself. But I never heard those words. Instead I heard her order me to continue to school quickly, or I would become late. I repeated my plight again, emphasizing the part about how I was alone; certain she had not heard me the first time. But she again gave me the same order. I paused for a moment, unable to comprehend. Then I started to question my mother’s sanity and began spouting off statistics of kidnappings and missing children. During my rant I realized that I was talking to no one, so I flipped back my phone and cried in the shear betrayal of my mother and best friend.
After a couple of minutes I decided to head out before I became truly late. So I trudged my way through the leaves as I made my way through the still dark street. With self-pitying thoughts to distract me and keep me company, I began to realize I was almost at my destination.
Then I heard it.
It was a low sort of rustling from the woods adjacent to where I walked. My immediate thought was the sex offenders had heard of my solitary walk and had decided to take advantage of my weakness. Not a sex offender, but a deer sprung from the forest and almost gave me an early death. After taking a moment to check my surroundings for anything else, I started to nervously laugh at my silliness. That was my mistake, for now I know the deer were waiting for me to let my guard down. For when I peered down the sidewalk there were at least 4 deer running full speed, and in my direction! I now knew what they meant when they say your life flashes before your eyes in times of peril, because in that moment my entire twelve years had come to pass before me. Without a second thought of oncoming traffic I ran into the street to avoid the deer. And to this day I can swear one of the deer looked my way and glared. This is the reason six years later I still lock my car doors when in the proximity of forests.