I saw a deer nearly get flattened this morning. It was a full-grown muntjac, a slab of speckled brown muscle that easly could’ve wrestled me if it hadn’t been so timid.
It came hurtling from far over the fields to my right and behind, and simply didn’t stop as it came to the hedges. An oncoming car missed it by less than ten yards as it leapt in front of it towards my lane. It cleared nearly the whole road in one jump, stumbling clumsily on the last bit of tarmac, than shot off to my left and front, losing almost no speed in the process. By now—if it isn’t dead on some other stretch or bend—it will be in Shipton-under-Wychwood at least, given the pace it was moving at, silently and desperately ploughing on, with wide eyes and springy legs.
I hate the culture of road. I hate the politics of roadkill and road accidents, that nobody ever confronts the question “how many human and animal deaths is private motorized transport between two Cotswold towns worth?” but finesses it like a LiveJournal commenter would, dismissing it as “not that simple.” I hate that I’ve already seen two dead badgers and a couple of dead deer (and dozens of dead rabbits, squirrels and mice) in a seven mile stretch this calendar year, and all most drivers can offer is a shrug as if death on such a scale for rather dubious economic ends is as unavoidable as seal-culling, the fur trade or whaling.
I hate that people carom around the bends here as if the highway were their driveway: except that, on their driveway, they’d have their charld, terribly bright for his age, playing around by the bit they gravelled over last year and reminding them to keep their speed down lest they knock its blond head off its suncreamed shoulders. I hate that only methods of declaration and warning exist between two road users: intimidation, daring, and barely innovative hand gestures; there’s no room communication or negotiation, let alone compassion.
But I love deer.