So there I am, contemplating life, mortality, and the pursuit of happiness whilst smoking & pacing around a desolate cul de sac, listening to the lonely wind as it seethed through a particularly shoddy piece of latticework, wondering if I was missing out on some carnival or bar mitzvah on this beautiful, sunny day, when I noticed a small, volleyball-sized beach-ball the colour of stepped-on cotton-candy and weathered aluminum bounding towards me.
The muddy-looking ball skipped slowly past me and came to rest at the curb, swaying with the wind even though its inertia had been halted by the tongs of an unapologetic sewer-grate; this grate/curb alliance had conspired to rob this ball of its freedom, and it was entirely up to me, or possibly a ferocious gust of wind, to free this poor, inanimate object from their nefarious clutches.
Benevolently, I gave the ball a good head-start down a sloping walkway, instilling in it no small amount of gusto with a jaunty little sidespin toss, and when I turned around, a deer stood staring at me from no further than fifteen-feet away – just a deer, standing stock-still in the middle of this dead-end road.
I stared at the deer, and it stared at me; I glanced sideways, and it looked down the walkway; I looked down the walkway, then at the deer, and I began to wonder as to the nature of the thrown-ball now off on its new journey: could it have been the deer’s ball? Is that look she’s shooting into me not the calm, soothing gaze we expect from gorgeous animals, but rather the horrified shock of seeing something you love thrown down an alley like nothing more than a semi-inflated bowling-ball?
Was the deer here for vengeance?
Then, as if it tried to answer in the most cryptic way possible, the sky opened up and it started to rain through the sun.
I watched the deer look into the rain, apparently as surprised as I was at this peculiar turn of events, and then it looked at me and cocked its head to the side; realizing I was standing almost exactly between the deer and the walkway, I slowly began my move out of the way, and the deer took a skeptical step forward. I was smiling like a two-year-old eating chocolate at this point, and I gave the deer a nod, put on my best down-south accent, and said, "Git!". Once I had moved far enough away to appeal to her bravery, she gave me one last look and bolted down the walkway.
And though I drove around for a while looking for some small piece of evidence that she did, in fact, catch up to her ball, I’m content with the somewhat spurious theory that she took her ball and went home, breathlessly telling her family about me and her adventures in the big city.