He was lying at the side of the road, our beautiful coast highway, when we whizzed by last night.
But not that fast. I saw his head upright, forelegs in full support, antlers tall and proud. Big bright eyes that I swear looked straight at me.
"A deer," I yelled to my hero who was driving. "Hit, I think."
He nodded with a glance in his rear view window. Yes, a few cars had stopped, and a small group of people had gathered. He's getting help, my hero assured me. There are wildlife rescuers. He'll be all right.
But my heart hurt. I couldn't really bear another ailing creature, just a day after Marley. Marley's eyes were bright, too, at the end, her head tilted just right. Inside, though, a vortex of death whirled. Who knew just what inner injury this gorgeous-eyed deer faced?
Oh. how animals trust us in our humanness. Marley ate the deli turkey we bought to spoil her those last few days, never knowing we were comforting ourselves. I took pictures of her gobbling her last cheeseburgers --our heartrending bon voyage gift. But to her: yummo.
That precious deer, trotting through the scrub and yarrow of his native environment, comfortable in the night, doing what deers do in the moonlight...only to meet up with 200 horsepower. Or more, considering the endless stream of cars and their inexorable, breathless pursuit of something, somewhere.
I kept seeing those bright, beautiful eyes late into another night I didn't sleep well.
But I did feel Marley's wet goofy kisses in the dreams that finally came to me about four a.m.
Coming soon: My favorite cowboy --make that Western-- movies.