Byron News: Deer and raccoons can throw a curve


Anyone who has had a close encounter with a deer, whether hit or a miss, know the immediate adrenaline rush that happens. I can tell you a story. It’s true.
Coming back from Billings in the evening, we were on the sand hills road. About a mile from town we came upon a small herd of deer. It was dark, and we were in the middle of them before we had any warning. Fortunately they were on either side of the road. We slowed to a crawl, and one young deer decided at the last minute it liked the other side of the road better and leaped out into our car. It was a good bump, but he fell and then jumped up and bounded off. We drove on home to survey any damage, which we were hoping would be hardly noticeable. Other than the big dent in the side panel and the gape on the hood, the car was just fine.
Now, the rest of the story.
A few days later and another trip home at night from Billings, we were cruising along, listening to kids singing songs about kindness and love, when a raccoon raced into our path. There was no time to stop or swerve, and sadly, we hit him. We drove on home thinking what are the odds after years of no “hits” we have two, and, of course, we were feeling bad for little Rocky Raccoon. We drove on home, parked the car up close to the garage and unloaded our stuff and turned in for the night.
The next morning Glen went out to see if there was any damage, hoping again for no damage. Instead, on the cement were bloody little raccoon footprints limping away from the car. He had a free ride under the car from Fromberg at 70 miles an hour. The impact ruined the grill and knocked the radiator off of its support, and that little rascal had hung on for life.
We followed the blood trail and found that he had snuggled in between the wood pile and the shed. He was out of reach, and we surmised that he was a tough little critter and might just survive.
I remembered my uncle Dave (Cozzens) told me a remedy he used for sick horses. He would boil rice in more water than needed for the rice, and use the rice water for the ailing horse to drink. He said it had worked many times to cure a horse that had been given up on by others. I thought about doing that for the little guy hiding in our wood pile, but Glen had already put out a couple crackers and some water, so he was on his own to heal.
Yesterday, the wood pile next to the shed is still there, but the little coon has moved on. He had left the crackers but drank the water. So somewhere in Byron we have a Montana transplant, probably looking for some dog or cat food that he can scavenge.
The car will survive, and so will we, but in the blink of an eye, things can give you a whole new set of plans.
Life is like that. Hang on.