Post for The Daily Post’s prompt for today because I wanted to write something a little different for this blog. And so, here’s a little story about something I hold deer.
There’s a skull and some portions of a neck that sit atop my desk. I’ve been told it’s most likely from a deer, possibly a doe or a foal due to the lack of antlers or stubs where they would grow. I know it’s a bit creepy, but I’m going into Biology, so I think it’s pretty neat.
I originally found it stuck in a tree near a snowmobile trail by my apartment in Milton. It was Spring Break I believe, so I was home from college, but it was still a little cold because Wisconsin weather works like that. At the time, there was still some decaying connective tissue that was keeping it together; there may have also been some organ tissue still inside the skull itself, but I didn’t know for sure.
I think I had something going on that day because I didn’t get around to collecting it until later that night. It was dark, kinda creepy, but I wanted to get it before it disappeared somehow. I grabbed one of my drawstring bags and a couple towels; my phone was my flashlight.
I headed onto the trail.
Darkness quickly enveloped me once I left the farthest reaches of the streetlight. I had a good idea how far to go in so I could grab the skull and go. I kept my light forward and downward, occasionally shining it on the trees to my left to make sure I didn’t pass its resting place.
I was oddly ecstatic when I found it hadn’t been removed.
I opened my bag and grabbed the towels. I made sure to carefully wrap it up and put it in my bag.
I showed my mom when I got back home; she had a vague interest, but probably just thought I was weird for wanting to keep dead animal remains. Personally, I didn’t really care.
Once college started up again, I put it in the fridge so it wouldn’t decay as quick and stink up the room (I share a room with one other person in a dorm). I asked my Bio professor at the time and did a little research on how to clean it; the best option was leaving it outside when it got warm again. So I did just that.
For months it laid underneath a bush tucked away by some tall grass. Once in a while I’d check on it, and there were beetles crawling all over it each time. When I checked on it before leaving for the summer, it was too wet to pick up and still had bugs on it.
About a week ago, I checked back again. Any remaining fleshy tissue was gone, and the spinal bones were disconnected. The bones themselves were dry and fairly smooth, and didn’t have any dirt or bugs on them. Nature does a good job at cleaning things.
I had the same drawstring bag as before and, this time, I brought my camera. After taking a few photos, I put the bones in my bag and headed back to my dorm, a different one this time.
As I said at the beginning of this post, this skull and these bones now rest atop my desk. I’d say this is one of my most prized possessions, all because of the story behind it. My Bio friends have gone a bit nuts over it, and one of them wants to date it (NOT in that way! I mean, as in figuring out how old it is).
Once I get past the hard, Gen-ed-like classes for my major, I think I’m going to have fun as a Biologist. Because the decaying remains of some random animal excite me.