Alternately, I’ll occasionally tell them I’m from “6 miles from the middle of nowhere”. This also is a lie. It was actually 5.4 miles (thanks Google), and it wasn’t from the middle of nowhere. It was from Lakeside, CA. Lakeside is a tiny, rodeo-type town in east San Diego County. And if you drove up into the hills from that town, after a while, you’d come to our place (there used to be a house there).
Obviously, having grown up there, I had many memories to pick from. But this is the one I chose to draw.
The creature inadequately represented there in my drawing is a Reeves’s muntjac deer, from Asia (specifically China and Taiwan). They’re basically toy deer – they grow to around a foot and a half at the shoulder (fully grown), and weigh around 40 lbs. You might imagine it takes some extraordinary happenings for a tiny Asian deer to end up in a tiny town in sunny SoCal.
Well, you’re wrong (and you also have an overactive imagination). It just takes one person. A person with too much money. When I was 14 or 15, I volunteered at the Emergency Wildlife Rehab in Muth Valley, about halfway between us and Lakeside. Aside from rehabilitating local wildlife (deer, bobcats, foxes, hawks, etc) there were also a fair number of animals confiscated from wealthier type folks who had imported illegal animals. One of them was this deer.
Reese’s Pieces. That was her name. She’d been confiscated, and, being so small, she had her own enclosure in the garage. I was quite fond of Reese’s, and I’d go and check on her when I got there each day. One day, without warning, Reese’s disappeared. I asked about her. I didn’t like the answer.
If you’ve ever bought bulk animal food, it usually comes in a large bag sewn shut with thick cord at the top. Apparently, the needle used to sew those sacks shut broke off into a bag. The bag that Reese’s was fed from. She had swallowed the needle, and it was long enough to pierce her esophagus and then her heart.
After detailing the death of a cute baby deer, I’m not sure how to finish this post, so I’ll just see you tomorrow.