We had just settled in along the July 4 Parade Route in Afton MN, but I decided to walk back to the car to get rainwear, just in case.
It was a short walk up the street, going up hill, and I was on the left side of the street when I noticed something very, very odd: a deer head – only the head – was looking around from behind the rear wheel of a parked car. It was totally out of any normal context for me.
As I got closer, I saw that it was indeed a deer, and a live one, trapped between pavement and the underside of the trunk of the car. It was terrified. It was doing what a deer would logically do to get up, but this only made its predicament worse – you can’t stand up underneath a car. It made a ghastly sort of sound, as a desperate and frightened deer would do.
There were plenty of people around – this was the main route to the parade, and the parade was set to begin only a half block away – so I was not needed. Someone said the deer had slipped on the pavement, and fell, sliding under the car. The police had been contacted. I went to the car, got the rain gear, and on the way back took a couple of photos of the deer.
Afton MN July 4, 2010
I knew the deer was being cared for, but what I had just seen stuck with me during the entire parade.
Parade over, we walked back to the car, passing the still-parked car.
No deer head; no deer. But lots of evidence that a deer had been there, particularly lots of scraped-off fur on the pavement.
The first couple of bystanders I asked didn’t know what had happened to the deer, but thought it wouldn’t have been able to survive the trauma, and probably had to be put down.
At the parking lot, someone who had seen it all said that three law enforcement people had worked together and freed the deer, which had escaped back into the woods from which it had come.
Apparently there was a happy ending.
The parade? OK. But no match for what I had seen.