In the small college town of Blossomville, Indiana, home of the premiere flagship school of University of Indiana, which takes pride in its progressive politics, reports are that populations of ravenous and wild-eyed deer are taking over. The safe, tidy community, untroubled by the usual outside influences that plague many urban communities, like race and poverty, is famous for its suburban lawns and well-kept gardens, carefully managed with the help of maintenance companies like Real Green and Dr. Grass.
Wilma Melcher, a local entrepreneur and sous-chef, says she has watched in horror as deer began to take over her beautifully manicured, chemically-treated lawn. "We chose this property for its beauty and for the privacy life on the edge of town would afford. Even before we built, we carefully had the trees and weeds all bulldozed down past the roots so they wouldn't come back to bother us, and the animals took off, too, so we could build our Dream House. But then, one by one the deer started returning and and trying to take over, and our dream has become a nightmare."
"They must love all that expanse of green, but," she added wistfully, "I do, too. It belongs to me, not them. I pay the mortgage here."
"And they're so scary," her friend and neighbor, Bud Willis, an elected official in Blossomville, chimed in. "Some days I can't even get my Prius out of the garage because there's a whole herd of them standing there harassing me. God only knows what would happen if they decided to enter my home!"
Another neighbor, Alfonso Shrub, a plant biology professor at UI, agrees. "Deer are really stupid animals. It's been scientifically proven. Case in point, they don't even pay attention to the warning yard sign I put out! I mean, hell, even my neighbor's three year old knows to stay off the grass after it's been treated."
The invasion of deer is unprecedented in this small, close-knit community of hard working students and scholars and businesspeople. Some say the deer were always here, just hiding in the forested areas that once graced Blossomville. Others say the deer are migrating from as far away as Indianapolis, drawn by a good deal when they see one.
But concerns are rising also about strange ghost-like deer appearing at night. A group of fraternity brothers assiduously studying for their first quantum physics quiz on a late Friday night were interrupted by strange monotone humming noises out back of the frat house, and managed to capture photos of what have been identified as zombie deer performing some kind of living-dead ritual dance.
Shadrach Paisley, local Blossomville TV anchor, offered an in-depth report a week ago on the alleged zombie and mutant deer:
Reports Paisley, "Local UI scientists, like Dr. Alfonso Shrub and Dr. Prudence Wormser of the University of Indiana Outdoor Living Plant Museum, are proving that deer are cleverly mutating and adapting to deliberately confuse those who would cause them harm. Chorused Shrub and Wormser, "These animals are inbreeding to the point where some of them even look like rabbits."
This two-headed doe, spotted near downtown, was observed looking both ways before crossing the street.
Paisley went on to include evidence from local hunter, Anthony Sackrider, of an alarming trend seen in a minority of deer who are out to foil hunters by reproducing in orange color patterns. A clever evolutionary ruse means that hunters will now have to shoot at anything or anyone wearing orange:
Stories of vicious deer attacks abound, with citizens fearing for their very lives. One Whispering Pines neighbor, Gordon Muncke, recalled having to beat off two does and a fawn with a broom, when they ventured suspiciously close to his porch, "with murder in their eyes."
Normally prey animals, Blossomville deer seem to be taking on the role of predators. Folks may well remember last winter's close call when high school student, Maxwell Titlow, age 14, (seen below) was viciously assaulted by a young deer when Maxwell refused to give him his lunch money. Mr. Titlow, Maxwell's father, snapped this photo as paramedics sped their way. The deer pinned Maxwell down in the snow, and it was only through his quick thinking (offering the deer a treat) that he saved his own life. He was treated at Blossomville Hospital for strange nudge marks and foreign saliva, and released.
Two weeks ago, police received a report of marauding deer thieves in the upscale Kensington Gardens development. These specially trained invaders have learned to bite through chains and locks to get inside homes, which they tear apart in search of vegetables.
There have also been reports of deer attacking fishermen and fisherwomen, competing for the few resources available, and raising serious questions of "fish security."
What angers City Council member and fisherwoman Claudette Simpson is that she is actually licensed by the DNR to fish, and the deer are just poaching. "It's morally wrong for them to take what isn't theirs," said Claudette. "Why, I've had a deer even savagely snatch a giant bass out of my hand." This particular deer vanished with the bass flailing in her mouth before conservation officers could arrive. No arrests were made, but the incident was documented.
Local self-appointed deer expert and Council member, Rudiger Ruffallo, noted with grave concern and a shocked expression that the deer are developing never before seen skills.
"They're turning into criminals," Ruffallo said, "with no regard for human property---and perhaps even life. They eat our plants, they show up near our homes, and they are frolicking in our streets. If we don't do something now, we're headed for a monumental disaster of catastrophic proportions, with devastated landscapes and a dying town."
As proof, he supplied this photograph of a renegade deer fleeing residents who interrupted an attempted home invasion.
Ruffallo attributes this behavior not only to the overpopulation of deer who have the hubris to try to reproduce like humans, but to desperately yearn for luxuries like iPhones and entertainment centers. "They want the same things we want," he said, "and they don't even have jobs."
The thief pictured above not only outran police officers all the way down Main Street, but left a stack of computer equipment with hoof prints all over it behind the fence.
"This is nature out of balance," Ruffallo said, ruefully shaking his head. "Ten years ago, deer were satisfied with munching on hostas, and that was bad enough, costing homeowners hundreds of dollars for lost hostas."
But the close contact with human beings has proven detrimental to both species.
"They've become a serious danger. Without opposable thumbs," Ruffallo added, "deer simply can't work the remote controls for the flat-screens, and these hoof-damaged items are left scattered over lawns and in the street, creating hazards to drivers."
Though the extent of the problem hasn't been confirmed yet, several neighbors report deer masquerading cleverly as neighborhood dogs. There is some thought that the dogs may be complicit, as caught in this surveillance video of Spots and Huffy clearly conspiring.
As residents are now reporting hearing the howls of coyotes in Blossomville, representatives from the Department of Exploiting Natural Resources are suggesting that this may actually be another ploy of deer to assume predator identities. This photo of a howling deer, taken by Dr. Alfonso Shrub, adds credence to the theory. "They are proving themselves to be great imitators of their own natural enemies."
Another clever tactic seems to be confirmed by this sign that appeared out of nowhere on a wintry afternoon last year, announcing coyote activity in the Kew Gardens development where no coyote has yet been seen:
UI scientists speculate the deer and their allies are cleverly trying to divert attention from deer to this notorious predator who rumors say are quite capable of swallowing children whole. The sign was removed after hoofprints were taken.
In fact, reporters at the Blossomville Tribune report continue to receive anonymous photos of coyotes with misspelled captions pictured below:
kyoty bys fansy kar rite off the lot
News anchor Paisley observes, "The schools are bad in Indiana, but this level of poor spelling certainly indicates the work of someone unfamiliar with the English language." A followup message confirmed his remarks: Weer deer and weer heer.
Residents complain they just don't feel safe any more, as the deer have "lost all fear" of humans, and are becoming bolder and bolder.
Imagine the shock of Audrey Herlihe when she and husband, local pediatrician Studs Warchinski, arrived home after church one Sunday to discover deer having a pool party in their backyard. While most of the adult deer guests instantly hooved it, one young straggler who'd had too much of the rum punch was quickly apprehended by local officers, and charged with trespass, and criminal mischief, and taken to the animal control who were unable to reach her parents.
Blossomville mayor, Mack Murphy, has called for the formation of a special task force to study the problem. Working closely with law enforcement and DNR officials, the Mayor's task force will be advisory in nature, but will work to get to the bottom of this deer problem. UI scientist, Dr. Shrub has received funding to study the strange behaviors they are seeing. "Monitoring the situation is crucial," he said. "Overpopulation, damage to the environment ... this is all contributing to climate change." He paused. "Oh, wait," he clarified, "I'm talking about deer."
Panicked citizens are not so patient and are demanding immediate action. Some have begun arming themselves. Assistant Professor of Informatics, and information specialist Lexie Zipper, says she's taking no chances.
|Lexie Zipper, mother of eight, professor, and head of local deer death squad|
Rumors circulate that the area known as "the Bottoms," where many residents are living in Section 8 housing and more than likely dealing drugs, has become a hideout for criminal deer who are acting as "drug mules." A visiting "mule" at one of the apartments, who declined to give his name, pointed out that he is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse, and has no relation to any of the Blossomville deer.
Unidentified mule who appears to be wearing "gang colors"
Police chief, Romeo McGilla, has assured citizens his force is doing everything they can and have been making regular sweeps through the Bottoms with their specially trained Deer Swat Team (not to be confused with the Deer Task Force). Bottoms neighbors are complaining that they are being singled out for police raids, and explain that their cement yards are the last place deer would want to try to graze.
On the other side of town, quick-thinking police work led to the discovery of this set of velvet antlers left behind after an atrocious rubbing incident by a young buck on a homeowner's arborvitae trees on Princess Diana Court. "We'll see if he's in the CODDIS system," said Officer Nutley, referring to the special index for deer and other animals. "If he's in there, we've got his DNA, and he's as good as in the bag."
Thanks to the fleet-footed Officer Pipkin, one of the suspected tree-rubbing scoundrels, a juvenile, was shot after resisting arrest.
While some deer activists, like feminist activist and gender studies lecturer Virgina Ocod, were quick to cry "excessive force" on a fawn, no less, Council member Ruffalo dismissed their outrage as the rantings of "Bambi lovers." He immediately released this damning Facebook photo of Ms. Ocod dressed as a deer:
Virginia Ocod (feminist Bambi lover and suspected "furry")
UI religion professor, Mahatma Malone, who has published a controversial monograph on Animals of the Old Testament, expressed delight over the shooting of the fawn, saying that made one less deer. "The Old Testament tells it like it is, an eye for an eye or, in this case, a fawn for the foliage--there's certainly language for that in both Exodus and Leviticus. God wants us to rule nature, or else, just like a woman, she'll get out of control."
While Blossomville considers itself a tolerant town in the red state of Indiana, and proud of its support for alternative lifestyles and sexual orientations, there is increasing worry over public sexual acts by this libidinous horde who engage in shameless behaviors all over town.
Just behind the landlocked Ocean View Elementary School, and in full view of several classrooms, this shocking cervid three-way riveted students for a good five minutes, until their distraught teachers were able to pry their little fingers from the windowsills.
UI child psychologist, Brynne Mower, was consulted immediately after the incident, and recommended bringing in specially trained counselors to speak with the traumatized children, to help process the buck-on-buck-buck-on-doe action. One horrified parent, Misty Becker, who openly opposes same-sex marriage as a threat to the Constitution, stated she isn't sure how her child can go on living any semblance of a normal life, and has decided to home school.
"Next thing you know," she said, "these deer will be sexually assaulting our children."
Another concerned parent stepped in and added, "And our grandbabies, too."
Councilmember Ruffallo was quick to appear for a photo op, and chime in: "That is, when these beasts are not defiling our parking meters downtown and begging for handouts in front of the public library."
Clearly, this is a story that isn't going to go away and is likely to get bigger.
Councilman Ruffallo says he and his fellow Council members stand ready to take action to protect the citizens, their homes, their lawns, and their sensibilities.
The entire nation will be watching to see how Blossomville responds.