I have seen death, but never like this. It is dusk. The quiet time, the end time of a busy day. The sun’s slow descent over the horizon is at the finish line and grey tendrils of cloud streak across the sky. Driving along a country highway there are no other cars, people or houses in sight. I’m in a peaceful place in my mind and body, the work day is over and soon I will be settled into my warm bed.
I glance down at the radio tuner as I switch from one station to another to hear the latest news report. My head and shoulders suddenly veer to one side as out of the corner of one eye I observe a blur of a solid shape barrelling towards my car. My whole upper body shudders from an impact directly perpendicular to where I’m sitting, my speed 100 kms per hour. My left ear is ringing, the window is shattered, hundreds of shards of glass burst into the still air. My car has been T-boned by a deer whose staring frozen face is reflected in the side mirror. I witness the light die in his eyes, then his body is flung off and disappears behind my still fast moving vehicle.
I’m shaking, my heart is pounding, my mouth dry as I ease my foot off of the gas pedal and pull over to the gravel verge. Looking through the rear view mirror I see nothing but inky blackness. As I wait for my heart rate to slow down a car travelling at high speed passes by and with relief I know that the deer must have been flung off the highway into a ditch. Sitting there I’m startled to see three more deer running across the road in front of my headlights. I wonder if they had been a family of four.