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You can’t drive on these roads very long without worrying about running into an animal. You see the reports in the police log all the time, but it’s one of those things that always happens to somebody else, right?
Well, not always.
Mary L. ran into a deer in downtown Lyons the other night, just opposite the Foothills Cafe. Ruined her day and her new Toyota wagon, too.
Fortunately Mary L. wasn’t hurt. The other part of this is what happens to the animal, and Officer Miller had to shoot the deer. I’m not sure which Mary L. was more worried about, the car or the deer. She said she felt as though she had murdered Bambi’s mother. So I took the car to Boulder, driveable even with more than $1,000 in damage to the front end. You might say it took a licking and kept on ticking. I was impressed.
The guys at the body shop weren’t as fascinated. Animal damage is routine, and I was treated to several horror stories of cars which had run into more than one deer at once, with animals flying through windshields and engines pushed through firewalls. Serious business. I also found out, by talking with my insurance company, that hitting an animal doesn’t come under the heading of collision, but under comprehensive, which means this isn’t going to cost me as much as I thought. Still, nobody likes to see their new car crunched.
On the way back, we ran into Officer Miller, and I asked him if it was true that Lyons was “Deer City,” as the men at the body shop had said.
“Actually,” he said, “this is the first time in the two years I’ve been here that somebody has hit a deer right downtown. But in this case the deer just ran into your wife’s car, which was only going about 25, and the deer didn’t look very healthy, so it may not have known what it was doing.
“But this has been a hard winter, and we have about 16 deer that hang around the downtown area, so it’s not too surprising one of them finally got hit.”
I asked him what had become of the deer. He said the wildlife people had picked it up.
People who commute to Longmont or Boulder or Loveland or even farther face the possibility of hitting a deer every morning and evening, and it’s something we all think about.
But in downtown Lyons?
One thing’s certain. It doesn’t always happen to the other guy.
Sometimes it happens to you.
© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner
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