I Fought the Deer and the Deer Won

Really, it’s more remarkable that I’ve been able to go 11.5 years in Maine without hitting a deer with my car. (The turkey, of course, is another story.) But my remarkable string of deer-free driving came to an abrupt end last Friday.

In my defense, it took two of them to take me out. Clearly the word had gone out that I was about to go for the record or something, because two deer crouched on the shoulder, waiting. Watching. All set to spring out as soon as they saw my red Prius barreling down the road at a little over 55mph.

When the time was right, they sprang. One out in front covering the left side of the road, and the other slightly behind to make sure I couldn’t swerve to safety. No. They were dead set on me getting some fur on fender action that day. I saw them make their move, and I slammed on my brakes to try to avoid them. I didn’t swerve. You don’t swerve in a car unless not swerving is going to kill you. (If, say, you’re about to hit a moose. A deer? Not swerving.)

The front deer hit my driver side light, smashing it with what must have been a very satisfying crunch. Sort of like how I crunched through ice encrusted puddles on my way to work today. I had braked enough that I didn’t do too much damage to the deer. It bounded off along with its buddy, no doubt giving each other deer high fives all the way.

I pulled to the shoulder and looked around. Assessed the scene. No deer that I could see. (The police in Maine like you to hang around in deer related accidents if the deer are still by the side of the road, dying or dead. On the plus side, you also get to keep the deer in those cases. Though I’m not quite sure what I would have done in my Prius. Strapped it to the hood as a warning to any other deer,?) I drove back along the road, checking to see if the beast had just flopped down dead somehow, but no. It was clear.

My headlight was not so lucky. Speaking from experience, it takes less than 24 hours for a policeman in Maine to pull you over for having only one working headlight. Lucky for me, I’d left the piece of deer hide lodged in my headlight-remnants, so it was clear I wasn’t making things up. He gave me a warning.

I took the car for an estimate. Just over $2,000 to fix. So today’s blog post is brought to you by the letters I, N, S, U, R, A, N, (again), C, and E.

Drive safe out there, folks. The deer are unionizing.

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