Monday, September 12, 2011

Meet Herman.

Have you met Herman?  I'm pretty sure you've seen him, even if you didn't realize it.  You see, Herman is a little sneaky, and he's always showing up when you least expect him.

Here's how I met Herman.

On Christmas Day 2010, Joel got the honor of unwrapping the biggest gift under the tree, a distinction usually assigned to Cael or Graham, but that particular day was his to enjoy.  As he tore off the snowman paper I lovingly used to wrap the box, Joel threw up his hands in delight, and Herman was born.

I'm sure you ladies will understand the rare type of buyer's remorse I felt at this moment.  Sure, I purchased a gift that my husband wanted and loved, but when he was at work all day I was the one staring out the window at that arrow-riddled eyesore.  I almost wondered, "Which is worse?  The deer or the shower?"  (Definitely the shower, by the way.  We get to take out our inner aggressions on this hoofed beast and the shower must be treated with care lest it infect us with tetanus or small pox.)  But Joel loved it, Cael loved it, and Graham really loved it.  A little too much, maybe.

Herman spent his first few months of life fully assembled but stashed in the garage and did little more than scare the bejeezus out of me when I'd run to the car or take out the trash.  But his destiny as a target was fulfilled even in the garage as he became the butt of many of our jokes and certainly the target fof a weasely left-handed future pitcher with a seemingly endless supply of red and blue whiffle balls.  As soon as the weather cleared up, however, Joel staked Herman in his proper place in our yard where he became both as elusive and as ever-present as Waldo.  In the background of almost every photo I took this summer is a tail or an antler or a hoof.

But as the summer passed, Herman went from an innocent bystander to an integral part of the boys' outdoor play.  Herman was a third player for baseball despite his really poor hitting/catching/batting stats, an obstacle for a Gator off-roading course, and, as always, an affectionate love interest for Graham, who is an equal-opportunity snuggler and doesn't discriminate between species.

Or animate vs. inanimate objects.

Or one end from the other.

Herman didn't seem to care how he was treated, whether it be gently by Graham or lethally by the more aggressive Foreman men.  But no matter the interaction, it took its toll on poor Herman.  Just as age can take its toll on older men and women, well-used deer targets can get weak in the joints as well.  In this case, though, arthritis wasn't Herman's downfall.  Cael and Graham were his downfall.

Well, that and decapitation.

Cael thought the whole thing was as funny as can be.

"Mommy!  His head came off!  The deer doesn't have a head now.  Can I pull off Graham's head?"

"No, Cael.  Our heads don't come off like that."

"Waaaah!  Maamaa!"  Graham yelped out in pain.


After deciding that Graham's well attached head was less entertaining than the deer, he returned to his first biological dissection.  While attempting to reattach the head and one set of antlers, he managed to remove the other set of antlers as well.

He also laughed so hard that he peed a little, but in an effort to protect his privacy I won't share that detail. 


When all was said and done, poor Herman was a shadow of his former self. 

His head lay lifeless in the grass and my children ran and danced around it as if they were taking part in some ritual sacrifice.  All that was missing was a campfire and a shelter pieced together with twigs and deer skins.  Herman shuddered at the thought.

But this day, Herman was lucky.  My nephew Ethan was there to put him back together again so he could live another day to further downgrade our standing in society.

After all, Herman's work wasn't done.  But you'll have to come back tomorrow to find out why...


  1. Haha...I must admit that on more than one occassion while driving on 30 I've looked over to your yard and found myself saying "A deer!" to myself, only to realize that it's Herman (although until now I didn't know his name):-)


  2. I laughed out loud reading this Mary! I can definitely relate to having a "deer" hanging out and scaring you randomly. Brock had a "Herman" in our garage, then the basement for awhile, as well as a turkey named Ricky... Gotta love our bowhunting husbands!
    - Ashley

  3. Shawna- I'm glad I was able to put a name to the face-- err, fur. He's like a really "woodsy" lawn jockey.

    Now that I've said that I think I know how our neighbors must feel.

  4. Ashley- I'm glad I'm not the only one with this problem! I feel for you-- we don't have a Ricky (yet) but I bet it's just a matter of time.

    We really should get them together... they'd probably hit it off!


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.