Sunday, February 28, 2010


My frustration with trying to figure out how harness the large volume of life in a deer’s eyes nearly drove me mad. I have to admit that it was an obsession. I had learned to fashion an authentic medieval longbow, but there was just no way that I would be able to use it to take down a deer. The thing I hadn’t anticipated with the longbow was that its useable force would be limited by my own strength.

I spent most of my spare time tracking those long-legged, majestic creatures. I learned the paths that they took, where they fed, and where they drank. All of the traps that I could imagine seemed like they would take days to build and wouldn’t likely work anyway since I noticed that the deer had a strong aversion to anything soiled by the scent of humans. I had all the information I needed but I just couldn’t figure out how to put it all together.

Then one day, when I was about thirteen, I was walking up the road to our acreage when the opportunity of a lifetime struck. Some tourists in a pick-up truck flew past me at incredible speed and smashed into a deer that had just bounded from the forest. As the deer few up into the air, their truck slid to a stop. As the deer dropped from the air into the ditch the truck spewed gravel and sped off. I ran up the hill faster than I had ever run before and jumped into the ditch beside that deer, sliding on my knees on the wet grass and stopping right beside its head.

For a moment I thought I had made a horrible mistake as the deer began to try to leap to its feet. I had my hand on the top of its front leg as it began to bounce higher and higher. I was sure that I was going to be trampled to death but I just couldn’t take my hand off of it. After about three big bounces it fell back to the ground and snorted out a huge breath, resolved to its fate. Its legs were badly broken and bone was sticking out and there was no way that it was going anywhere.

I stared into its eye in wonder and spoke in the most soothing tones I could manage with so much excitement coursing through my veins that I could barely keep from squealing. I don’t remember what I said for I was completely mesmerized by all the life that was left in its eyes. It was incredible. I don’t think it had any serious internal or head injuries because there was more life in its eyes than any other deer I had ever seen. I nearly flopped onto its neck to give it a hug but I just couldn’t tear myself away from its gaze.

As I stroked its neck I felt more life than I have ever felt in any other creature to this day. Usually the field of life around a creature is like a strong magnetic field, but in that deer it felt more like a cocoon of warm water. I could feel my hand moving through it and I realized that there had to be an overload of adrenalin in its system. Nothing else could produce so much life. It was intoxicating and I lifted my hands off of the deer and just waved them around through that field as I stared into its eye. My own heart was pounding so hard that I swear I could hear it.

Then there was a shock of energy like an elastic snapping. My hand jerked as I felt it snap and in an instant life began to drain from its eye. My face lurched forward as if pulled into some sort of vacuum and I found myself only inches from the deer and my hand came to rest on its neck. I was actually inhaling its last breaths. I’m certain that a deer’s breath must be awful but at that moment I found it to be a compelling musk and I drew it in like a dope fiend. I was fully encapsulated in the passing of life, immersed in the whirlpool of the hereafter.

I could feel the energy flowing and I actually had a sense of where it flowed. The light in that eye was like looking up through a few feet of water at the sun as I was flying to the surface. As I broke the surface the sun dropped with incredible speed behind a mountain and all the light began to fade. I was on the other side, but it was getting dark and cold. I was falling off the path and I couldn’t find my way back. I screamed and pushed back with all my strength.

I pushed myself right off of that deer and onto my back in the ditch. I laid there gasping for breath. Suddenly I was startled by a voice. I hadn’t even heard them approach but Nicole and Loretta had pulled up in their truck on the road and apparently had seen me scream and jump back. I scurried to my feet to tell them that a truckload of tourists had killed the deer but I was immediately distracted when I realized that I had peed my pants.

There was absolutely no fallout from the experience. The tourists were blamed for their reckless driving and I was heralded for comforting a dying deer. No one ever mentioned my incontinence, and I suspect that Nicole and Loretta kept failed to mention that detail. Everyone believed that I was the most compassionate adolescent in the world for showing no fear in jumping to that deer’s side to comfort it as it died. They had no idea that I dove into that ditch to drink up that deer’s soul. That’s how I came to describe it from that day forth. It’s the only way I can describe inhaling a creature’s last breaths while basking in its energy and chasing its life to the other side.

I had discovered my passion, my addiction, and my only love.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Heather,
    Read the new story a few months back and have been left hanging! Hope all is well with you.
    -Anna ;)