It’s been too long since I’ve been back to MN to visit my parents. This morning, we went for a walk around the yard to see all the new things since I’ve been here last. There are so many things. There are more flower gardens than there used to be, and more things in the gardens. At this point, most of the flowers are past, but we admired the ones that are still blooming, talked about the ones that will bloom again this spring, the ones that are quickly taking over the shaded areas. I learned which flowers are the deer’s favorites to eat, and which ones were successfully saved with all kinds of crazy effort.
Earlier this year a deer died right next to one of the flower gardens. There were no wounds or anything, but it was so big they thought that maybe it had simply died of old age. When they found it, it was frozen to the ground and looked like it had been there for a while. What does one do with an old rotting deer corpse anyway? They started calling around, but no one seemed willing or interested in doing anything with it. One person suggested that if they dragged it out to the road, the city would come to clean it up. Not only was that too far for octogenarians to drag a large deer, my parents were afraid of what the neighbors would say.
Finally, someone found out how big the yard was. “Oh,” they said, “well just leave it there. Nature will take care of it.” So with a neighbor’s help, my parents eventually rolled this deer onto some plastic sheeting and dragged it further downhill into the woods. There aren’t any big predators in this area, but they were surprised at how quickly it disappeared. They saw a fox, and a lot of black birds. It was gone in a matter of weeks. I went to find it today.