I suppose there really is not a mutual understanding between critters when it comes to rural life in North America. It still is everything goes, as it should, and like anywhere else location means nothing when it comes to making sense of our own mortality let alone other creatures. While walking on somebody else’s farmland to get to a favorite piece of water I often rubberneck every few hundred yards. It never ceases to amaze me the likelihood of finding something interesting poking out of the freshly tilled soil. Early this season while tromping along in a half dazed sleep deprived state wearing baggy waders I came across a big leg. It was severed from the socket in the hip and partially eaten mid-thigh, hoof still attached. I stopped abruptly and just stared at it for a few minutes. I was both mortified and curious. “Where’s the rest of the body?”, I said to myself. I imagined David Caruso showing up on the scene with aviator glasses and a sidling bra-less wonder toting an expensive Nikon with a ringlight. Forensics probably were not in the budget on this one. My imagination wanders aimlessly until it lands on the notion that it had to have been a hungry “meadow yeti” handling this 40 pound hind quarter like a drummy. “Where the hell is the rest of the deer!”, probably in it’s underground yeti lair with all of the rest of the missing person’s that I see up on the entrance walls of the local Walmart. Not a fox, not a dog, it’s too heavy, maybe a hungry fisherman? Nope, too domesticated, would have had to properly dress it first with some kind of cool gadget from Cabela’s.
Later that night I pulled the sheets over my head and wondered where this three legged deer was roaming, see page 13 of Maurice Sendak's book
“Where the Wild Things Are”
The next day I returned to the same spot and the severed half eaten leg was gone. These are the things that frustrate me most in life, when you experience things in isolation nobody but you can ever rationalize it, and having a very active imagination makes it even more difficult. I suppose an ongoing open-ended narrative in our minds is a healthy thing, and as a fly fisherman it helps me discover and rediscover how it is I wish to experience the outdoors. So I decided to put up on the message board at the local Walmart;
“Lost, three quarters of a large deer, or...Lost one left hindquarter of a large deer. Please contact clint at....”