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Imagine yourself in a multiplex movie theater. Curiously, no walls separate the half-dozen theaters that form the multiplex. Miraculously, you are watching six different screens all at once, thoroughly understanding and enjoying every scene, word, character.

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Christmas deer

            Ahh, the heart-warming authenticity of radioactive deer …

Clearly hearing a whistle, I look around but see nobody.

That was me, Black, says Screen Three from deep inside my head. Christmas displays get better every year.

“Displays?” I ask.

Across the street. Those deer … so lifelike.

“Holy smokes, Three,” I exclaim in agreement, “they are realistic!”

I stroll the street’s width to see whether the five figures, beautifully illuminated by the many multi-colored lights of the lawn’s display, are porcelain, plastic or painted wood figurines.

Look, shouts Five, even the eyes move!

And the heads! says One.

I freeze in my tracks.

In their tracks, smirks Three.

What should we do now, Boss? asks Two.

“You tell me!” I blow back. “You screens are my thoughts!”

Six speaks calmly. No worries. Not a single rack among them. Does, all. Savvy Six knows I am nervously replaying my early-morn rendezvous with deer –

reindeerWould that be a reindeer-vous? cracks Three.

– just 48 hours earlier. Motoring right along in shorts and 24-degree darkness, I see two deer, perhaps yearlings, hesitate to cross the road I swiftly walk. Looking left, I see three much larger deer delicately dance in distress.

“By all means,” I softly say as I slowly back up, “go ahead.” The young deer step, pause, step, then race to the other side. Mentally I applaud their courage and turn to continue my own journey.

A stag blocks my way.

Perhaps he, too, wonders how long we will stand, unmoving and unyielding. Then hoarse cough and heavy clop coincide as the magnificent male melts into cloaking night, lithe ladies close behind.

That ended well, encourages Two, who then sets aside the memory and weighs the present situation. Still, here you are, facing five does.

“Does? Or young males with mothers?” I nervously counter.

No antlers, scoffs Five. Males or not, you are safe. I scan downy heads to see whether Six agrees and sigh in relief when he nods yes. However, my nearness prompts nervous and fast-paced high-stepping –

You or the herd? laughs Three.

No injuries– even as they stay in place, so Four counsels, Might be good to move along before there are injuries.

Blown away by the kindness of this caution, I murmur, “Four, you – you’ve never warned me before. Ever.”

Record intact, says Four. Deer may be hurt fleeing.

Speak to them, suggests Five. But human vocals increase Bambi brood anxiety.

Sing, advises Six. Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast.”

Savage breast,” corrects Three.

National Geographic! frets Two.

At high speed, Three picks a song and, through my lips, launches lyrics. I mentally laugh at his selection, but the five unescorted does, now comforted, gently fade into the surrounding shrubbery.

Three’s choice? “All the single ladies.”

 

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Postscript: Allow me one last deer tail – er, tale.

Nearly finished with my early-morning walk, I hear something solid pounding the macadam behind me. Coming your way, Black, says Six. And coming fast. I zip to the other side of the narrow road.

Bursting into streetlight brilliance, a powerful stag (wearing antlers like a proud crown) thunders past, breaths brief and labored. He steadfastly looks ahead and runs the same way, never leaping into the lush foliage so close by. I watch him sprint the street until he slips beneath the red glow of the traffic light –

Ticket, says One.

– and is swallowed up by our tiny town. Naturalist Five fumbles for an explanation, finally asking, What was that all about?

“This,” I tell my screens, “is why you mail Christmas gifts early.”

* * * * *

Blackie’s Weekly Wonders

Zooey and Leon claim it’s cold outside

Would deer love a marshmallow world?

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