I was heading home after work. I report the traffic for NPR’s All Things Considered on KCRW. I was driving up Malibu Canyon. It was winter time. I was snaking around Pepperdine and the Hughes Research Complex. It was early but dark. And then, out of nowhere kaboom! A deer jumped on my car! Right onto the hood! I didn’t hit him. Literally, it was like he fell from the sky. You know the yellow diamond caution signs that read Watch for Falling Rocks? Well, CalTrans should add another sign to their repertoire…Watch for Falling Deer.
This guy had BIG antlers and his large beautiful head was facing me. Still driving, I looked into his gorgeous dark eyes looking at me through the windshield, with his big black rubber nose smooshed up against the glass. It only lasted a second or two but it felt like we were looking at each other forever…we both locked on, and then from far off in the distance I heard us both screaming – me in my human voice, him in his deer voice. In the next moment, I saw a scuffling of little legs and delicate black things – little hooves. He rolled up and over the windshield to the hard top of my rented car. (Turns out that by being in the shop – my infuriating, glorious, unreliable old convertible saved my life.) He slid back onto the trunk and fell on the ground. I pulled over. He wasn’t moving. I jumped out of my car, terrified that I had hurt Mr. Fabulous…he was just lying there. I slowly walked towards him, tears starting to stream down my face and all of a sudden he popped up, shook, looked over his shoulder and took one last look at me, and off he went leaping into the woods with not even a scratch. I walked back to the car…now with tears of joy. I looked at my rented car…it was totaled.
Have you ever hit an animal, swerved to avoid hitting one? Do you have a car/animal story? Tell me! What happened to you?