Thursday, February 12, 2009

Smokey and the Deer...

I've posted several times about how lucky I was to grow up the daughter of a Game Warden. Mom and dad taught us about so many different animals and we were fortunate enough to grow up raising many of them including bear cubs, owls, hawks, eagles, a raccoon, and so many others I can't even remember them all. I'll post later about our adventure with the raccoon - that's a story all it's own. But one of my favorite animals that we raised was a fawn.

Some people in Lowman saw an eagle pick this fawn up and try to cart it off, but lucky for the fawn, he was too heavy and the eagle dropped it so these folks brought it to dad as he was the closest Game Warden.

We had a German Shepherd at the time named Smokey. She was the most awesome dog. She was truly a member of the family. Well, the fawn thought Smokey was his mom and tried to nurse from her - which she didn't mind. So actually, the fawn grew up thinking not of himself as a deer, but a dog. When we'd come home from school, he'd come running down the driveway to meet us and jump on us just like a dog does. Damn those hooves were sharp! He followed us everywhere and when Steve and I would go down to the creek fishing, he was right there with us. He came in the house when he wanted to and would jump up on the couch and fall asleep.

As he grew up, it came closer to hunting season. Mom decided the only way to make sure he didn't get killed by a hunter was to put an orange vest on him. So dad bought a bright orange hunter's vest and we put his legs through the arm holes and tied it on. It was the funniest thing seeing that deer romping around wearing a hunter's vest.

Unfortunately, one day while we were at school, he went down to the creek to get a drink and his vest got caught on a stick and tore off. Some guy came down the road and saw him standing by the water and shot him. The only neighbor that lived nearby, saw what happened and ran to the creek, yelled at the guy who had just shot our deer, and wouldn't let him take him. I remember how hard it was for mom to tell us what happened. What a sad day.

But, the memories I have of that deer and our sweet dog Smokey, will forever be a special part of my life. This is the only picture I have of them. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always have...

7 comments:

jaci said...

What a touching story! Of course, I had tears in my eyes.

Thank you for sharing and I can't wait to hear more.

Sheri said...

That is such a great story. Sounds like a magical childhood. I love the picture....you are a lucky person!

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

Funny how we remember or hear things differently. But yeah, that deer was quite the nut.

JACKI said...

ahhh... that is cute! I remember as a kid, you telling me stories of that deer. Jake & I were lucky enough to grow up with a little of that too. Having our 'pet' deer in the living room & bottle feeding baby cougers on the couch will forever be a memory that we will have too. Thanks mom!

Dee said...

That deer was the sweetest thing---a tiny baby when we got him,all fuzzy faced and mewing like a kitten. We had to feed him so frequetly-----and he grew and grew till by Fall, when the deer would stand on his hind legs, he was much taller that the kids, and would lick them in the face.
The kids were all at school when the deer was killed, AND it happened in the late 60s. That's a long time to remember details. ! We had the word P E T in big black letters on the vest, it had gotten torn and was off him.
It broke my heart and was so sad to tell the kids. But they all have sweet memories of the fun they had with that pet.

Jodi said...

After talking to mom, I discovered Linda was right. My memory was a little off. The deer had torn his vest and mom was in the house sewing it when she hard a shot. She looked out the window and saw a truck down on the road below our house. So, it wasn't a neighbor after all, it was my DEAR, SWEET MOTHER who ran down to the creek yelling and screaming, swearing like a sailor at the guy who had killed our fawn.

Thanks for clearing up this sometimes fuzzy memory mom!

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