This is proving to be a troubling year for deer. After our daily walk the dog is now resigned to a careful body search for deer ticks. Oh, the relief when she can escape the inspection unscathed! Unfortunately all too often I have had to go to the cupboard for a tube of "Tick-off", a jar of Vaseline and a pair of tweezers. Maisie lies abject and cowed in her basket while I do my best to rid her of the beastly things. I'm not as worried when I find them on her body but they are a concern when they are near to her eyes or her ears. She is an inquisitive little dog, pushing her nose into the wayside verges and hedges, so inevitably she is prone to ticks attaching themselves to her head. She is regularly dosed with Frontline but it doesn't seem to be very effective.
The roads on either side of our hamlet are home to many wild deer and a couple of times one has darted across the road before us when we have been driving home in the early hours.
We set off for Yorkshire last month and had been traveling for several hours when, on a quiet stretch of the motorway, an enormous deer leapt the central concrete barrier and with another great leap landed in front of our car.
It was heart stopping, literarily for the deer, and also, momentarily, for us. We felt lucky to be alive. The RAC brought us back home on a truck. I phoned Yorkshire to say we wouldn't be coming. The farmer's wife, ever the animal lover, asked, "Is the deer alright?" My brother said, "I hope you've filled the freezer." Friends gave what I felt was the most appropriate response, "You were lucky. Thank goodness you're alright."
The insurance company took their time to approve the repairs and we waited several weeks for the car to be returned. Four and a half thousand pounds worth of damage.
Dear deer indeed!