I saw a deer get hit by a car yesterday. It happened about 50 yards in front of me as I was driving. I saw the deer well off to the left, saw it move as if it were in slow motion across the other side of the parkway, and could tell well before impact that the car in front of me was going to hit it if it didn’t brake.
When I hit deer, twice so far, my first reaction after surprise and terror is anger. I’m angry at the deer, angry that there are so goddamned many of them, angry that they don’t have the sense to use the crosswalks or run parallel with traffic rather than perpendicular to it. Somewhere in the back of my mind there is a sadness that such a large and wild animal died, but it often comes later and pales in comparison to my own relief for my safety and anger at having to deal with the insurance company.
Oddly, I had never seen someone else hit a deer until yesterday. It was kind of disturbing to witness. It was a large female deer, just out for a nice gallop, and then it was over. It stumbled slightly and then fell into the median after it was struck. I don’t think it suffered much, thankfully, hopefully, but who really knows what a wild animal feels? You couldn’t really tell it had been hit other than the small explosion of fluid and intestines that shot out it’s white, bushy rear upon impact. The woman in the car never saw it, and once I saw that she was OK and calling for help, I just drove on. But it saddened me, and I can’t really say why. Minnesota wouldn’t miss a thousand deer, much less one. But it was big and fast and a beautiful shade of tan, and had probably walked among the suburban McMansions and strip malls for many autumns. Seeing it quivering there on the side of the road just seemed crass and wrong. God’s beauty wronged, or something like that.