It happened right around 8:00, just as I was washing down the last of my vanilla ice cream with the dregs of the red wine in my glass, and my parents were starting to contemplate the bottoms of theirs. A lot of hooping and hollering--whether animal, human, or avian, at this point we couldn't tell. The only thing we knew for certain was that it was heading our way.
Three things passed the kitchen window in relatively rapid succession: a bounding deer, tail-up and running into the trees; a streak of white that rapidly disappeared and became two ears poking out of the long grass beyond the paddock; some chick, bleach blond, dark eyeliner, thin as a rail. All traipsing through our backyard.
My dad and I immediately exchanged a look that said: this one's gonna be good. I picked up my wineglass and followed him out into the driveway, where we scanned the treeline to see who would emerge first out of the final turn. My bets were on the women--two others had followed, one tall and dumpy and the other short and sort of square, and none of the three struck me as particularly athletic or motivated to range after livestock. Depending on the dog, it can take anywhere from ten feet to several miles to realize that they are just never going to get that damned deer. (It took Juno 17 once; she came home only because she hit the Amawalk Reservoir and couldn't cross the highway to get around it.) And deer--well, we all know how that story goes.
If there'd been money on it, I'd have lost. It wasn't more than five minutes before the white thing reemerged, proving itself to be an albino pit bull with a choke collar but no leash (not very helpful, that combination) and a stupid doggie grin on its face. I had the strange pleasure of watching my dad call the dog over and get slurped enthusiastically and his feet sat on. I even went to the trouble of putting my wineglass down at one point to pet him while the blond chick--who on closer inspection was about fifteen--sat plump down in the wet dirt driveway and rained hysterical tears of relief on fido's fuzzy, spade-shaped head. While he just sat there, panting and grinning away as if to say, "Gee, wasn't that fun? Can we do it again tomorrow?" Five bucks says he put the deer up to the whole thing.
Final score: deer 1, dog 1, humans 0. And my dad now thinks his name is Atticus Finch.