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Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Deer Story

This is a story about assumptions, imprinting and belief systems, and the "egoic" insanity of men.

It involves love, death, anger, grief, and sorrow. The main character in this story is a deer. It is a true story.

I have a very kind and compassionate friend who we in the law enforcement biz referred to as a "fish cop." A Fish and Game officer. He lives in central Idaho. He and his wife have a lovely place built on a mountain, remote, only in that there are no neighbors close by.

A few years before his retirement, my friend happened to come upon an orphaned baby deer, a buck. Having no outlet or solution for baby deer found in such a predicament, my friend and lover of animals, decided to raise this deer. Perhaps one day they would set it free. They fed this deer from a bottle and they loved him. In return the deer loved them back. The buck grew up and eventually would walk right into their home and nuzzle them, begging for attention- to be petted or scratched. They loved this animal like a member of their own family. The deer would tease my friend's wife, eating the flowers she had planted around their home, ignoring numerous scoldings like a rebellious teenager.

Now this deer was raised by loving human beings. And in return, it loved human beings. It was a male deer which meant it had antlers. Sharp antlers.

Now at some point, my friend was forced to free this deer as a young adult. Or perhaps this deer simply responded to the DNA code that said it was time to go find female deer and wandered off.

The deer found a drainage to the north. A valley inhabited by people. So it was, that amidst doing the daily activities of deer, it would seek out human beings for petting and nuzzling. It loved human beings and human beings represented love. And because it loved, it did not fear human beings like normal deer do.

I began to read the accounts of this crazed deer in the local paper. People and tourists being "attacked" by a buck. Fearful people phoning in frantic complaints of some crazed deer that they thought must be rabid or retarded. But was most certainly "dangerous."

The best solution that Fish and Game employees could come up with was to shoot and kill this deer. These were the friends and co-workers of my retired friend. They showed no compassion or mercy for the deer, justifying that killing this deer was the best solution for a former employee who knew the rules. The rules that men like they had created. Rules like don't feed and raise wild animals. And so they did.

My friend, grief stricken and angry, took out a giant ad in the local newspaper explaining what had happened. I read that ad. It would be many years before I fully examined that event. He and his wife loved that deer like a member of their family. They wished they had been consulted, there were more humane solutions.

A deer had been imprinted with love. Love is letting go of fear. It had acquired a belief system that did not fear human beings and found humans as a source of joy. It had a belief system that made the assumption that human beings were kind and friendly.

Human beings also have a belief system. They have been imprinted with a belief system that says deer always run away from human beings. Deer must fear men. And so it was that they did not know, nor could they comprehend or understand that this deer was different. They ASSUMED it was crazy or rabid. Deer do not behave that way. And if in fact love is letting go of fear, then hate must mean clinging to fear. So it was, that they killed it. And the people who killed that deer did so believing that that was the only solution. That the act was justified and necessary. They "believed" what they did was proper and that this story is a perfect example of why we tell the general public not to feed or raise wild animals. In fact, some of the Fish and Game officers might have even felt victimized themselves.

This story illustrates perfectly our human and fallible inability to understand anything that deviates from our accepted belief systems. Rather than seek understanding or tolerance, we fear something instead and thus we kill it. We make assumptions. We then justify our actions as appropriate and blame those that "broke the rules" and our fragile egos are satisfied that we did the "right" thing. We rarely seek to understand. We always seek to be understood.

And if a man came, a man who offered unconditional love to all men, we would not understand such a deviation. We would fear such a man. Our established leaders would fear his informal leadership, his deviation from the egoic beliefs of men, his capacity to love all unconditionally. They would be jealous of all the attention, praise, and following that such a man would generate and receive. And those with power, would exercise that power, and act to eliminate such a threat.

It was true 2000 years ago and unfortunately (forgive the assumption) it would occur the very same way today. We have evolved greatly in an inventive and materialistic sense. And yet, I see very little evidence that we have evolved in any emotional way. Sometimes, you can learn a lot about yourself from something as simple as a deer.

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