A Deer In The Road

By Joseph J. Mazzella • February 2, 2020

I live in the mountains of West Virginia. The curvy, winding roads and the vast woodlands often lead to near misses with the local deer. The other day I was driving my son to work at the sheltered workshop when we saw a deer in the road that hadn’t been so lucky. The driver in front of me suddenly swerved to avoid hitting the corpse and I quickly followed him jerking the steering wheel to get back in the right lane before the next blind curve. I could see that the way the dead deer was lying between two blind curves we had an accident waiting to happen.

After dropping my son off I hurried back and saw the deer was still in the road. There was a wide spot on the side of the road. I thanked God for it and pulled over. I got out of my car and walked up to where the deer was. Looking both ways for cars I ran over to the body. It was laying in a pool of blood and excrement. I reached down and grabbed its broken hind leg. I backed up quickly dragging it behind me to the side of the road. I looked down at the majestic animal as I wiped off my hands in the wet snow by the guardrail. “So sorry my friend,” I said to him. I sadly walked back to my car knowing that the crows, buzzards, and other scavengers would soon take care of the remains.

I was still thinking of that beautiful deer later in the day when I turned on my computer. As it came on I smiled with surprise and delight. I had forgotten what my most recent screen saver was: a picture of a deer in a field of wild flowers staring at the sunrise. I wondered if that deer’s spirit was in a heavenly meadow right now perhaps romping and playing with some of my own furry friends who had passed. I wondered too about the time I had left here. Would it be days, months, or many years? I shook my head, laughed and decided that it didn’t matter just as long as I lived the time I had left with love, kindness, and joy. May you do the same.

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