If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Day I Saw Bambi

One day last week on my morning walk in the woods with my beautiful collie, Maggie, I suddenly heard what sounded like a baby crying behind me.  I turned around and a tiny little spotted fawn on matchstick legs came running towards me and then veered off to its right and got tangled in some dead branches for a moment before breaking loose and traveling on with Maggie trotting behind it. She wasn’t barking or threatening the little creature in any way. She was just curious. I waited until the little one was far enough away that my voice wouldn’t alarm it and then called Maggie. She ignored me at first, and then stopped and watched it travel on for a while before she turned and returned to me expecting a treat, of course.

Like almost everyone else, I grew up reading or having it read to me, Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Felix Salton, an Austrian who wrote it in 1923. Since that time it has been translated and published in twenty languages around the world. It was first published in North America in 1928. Of course, by the time it came to this country, I think it was only titled Bambi, and then Walt Disney created the movie in 1942. The book is considered a classic. What child didn’t love Bambi, and grieve with him when his mother was killed. The story introduced the realities of life to children. I shed many a tear when I read the book more than once and watched the movie many times.

Over the years I’ve seen many does with their fawn or fawns – they can have as many as three at a time – but usually only through a car window, although sometimes they’d come through a campground. We’d often walk in the evenings on trails because that was the time of day we’d be more likely to see deer, too.

My first close up sighting of a young fawn was when I was backpacking with my sister and niece. They’d left the woods to cross a large meadow before me. I tend to stop and check out things and dawdle along behind on hikes. They were already disappearing into the woods on the other side of the meadow when I saw a little fawn curled up in the taller grass beside the path. Although its eyes were wide open, it didn’t move a muscle or even blink. It’s something fawns are good at doing while their mother is out foraging for food. It must be an inherent instinct because I have no idea how a doe would train her youngster to lie so still without moving.

I did not use the picture of a decapitated man.
However, as sweet and innocent fawns are, they grow up to become a problem in many communities. They eat people’s hostas, rhododendrons and other plants. They can wreak havoc in vegetable garden, too. Even worse, are people seriously injured or who die from hitting deer with their vehicles, especially at night. I’ve certainly heard about the accidents, but when I looked for images of car wrecks from deer for this blog, I was appalled at the damage done to cars, deer, and even worse to people. Over in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the deer are eating all the underbrush causing many song birds that nest there to have become rare or even absent from the area. Many towns close to the valley have deer roaming through the town streets even in the daytime. One day as I was driving through a town just south of Cleveland, I had to hit my brakes suddenly when two deer ran out in front of me, and this was in a well populated town with sidewalks and small businesses in addition to homes.

A few years ago, Cuyahoga Valley National Park hired sharpshooters to cull the herd, and a huge Bambi contingent came out to save the deer. Now I don’t have a gun, I’ve never been hunting, and I only shot a gun once when I was a teenager and my brother and two male cousins talked me into firing a shotgun. OUCH! My shoulder was bruised and sore for days. Although, I have no desire to hunt or even own a gun, I’m not against cutting down the deer population through hunting. Not only because of the damage they do to the landscape and cars, but in many places they’re starving because they’ve wiped out the food sources because they’ve become so plentiful. When I was a kid, I remember my grandmother spotting a few deer in the field. We were so excited because we’d never seen a deer before. Now it’s the rare person who doesn’t often see a deer even sometimes in cities.

Another problem is CWD (chronic wasting disease) that started in Colorado and is moving east and has now come to Ohio. The disease attacks deer and elk and is one of a family of fatal neurological disorders known as mad cow disease, which kills people who consume beef from cattle infected with mad cow. The disease attacks and alters the brain. Symptoms include excessive salivation, trouble swallowing, difficulty judging distance, a lack of coordination and drooping ears. It’s always fatal. Meanwhile, scientists are collecting the brains of dead deer and using high-powered microscopes and special stains are analyzing tissue slices looking for tiny, sponge like holes in the tissue to check for CWD.

Deer hunting in Ohio is a $230 million dollar industry, a lot less than that in Wisconsin which is a $1 billion dollar industry. Ohio hunters killed 165,124 deer last year, Wisconsin 450,000 deer, and still our state of Ohio has a huge population of deer, many of them killed by cars as I can attest to because I not only see them dead beside the road, I’ve also had them dash out in front of my car day or night.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping the Bambi I saw was reunited with its mother and will live a long and healthy life away from traffic.

Was Bambi one of your favorite stories?

How do you feel about deer today?


James Montgomery Jackson said...

Living in the deep Upper Peninsula of Michigan woods, I have the opportunity to see fawns fairly frequently. Some years they come to my salt lick, including a collared fawn a couple of years ago, part of the Michigan Predator Prey Study being conducted in our area.

Deer are a problem primarily because in the suburbs they have lost most of their predators. No wolves, only a few coyotes, no bear, no bobcat or lynx or other cats. Then food becomes the only population curb and that occurs through starvation.

I’m not at all opposed to controlled hunts, especially where the meat is given to local food banks to further support community needs.

~ Jim

Warren Bull said...

A few years ago my wife, Judy, was driving on a foggy road. I was riding in the front seat. When we came around a curve we saw a doe standing in the middle of the lane. Judy is an excellent driver. She managed to miss the deer, but it was scary. I once saw a group of six that crossed a road after a stoplight halted traffic. I think we need controlled hunting to help keep the population under control.

Kara Cerise said...

I live in an urban area next to the freeway and occasionally see deer. I used to see them more often but builders have been clear cutting trees for new houses and buildings so the deer population has dwindled. Although last week a doe and a baby deer strolled down my street. Unfortunately, I have seen dead deer on the side of the freeway and we have car accidents because of them

Bambi made me cry--I was a sensitive child.

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, I think it's totally awesome to live where you live. I agree with you that controlled hunts have become necessary especially where the population has exploded and there are no
predators to control them naturally. I especially like the idea of giving them to food banks.

Warren, that had to be scary. Even though your wife is an excellent driver, there's no stopping a deer from dashing out in front of cars. Also, often where one crosses in front of you several more can be following.

Kara, what is especially scary about deer on freeways is that traffic is traveling at excessive speed and often congested so there's no way to avoid a deer that dashes out.
If you Google deer accidents, you'd be appalled at the images that come up. I picked
one that wasn't as gruesome as many of them.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I live near a huge tract of green space, filled with deer, fox, and sometimes, coyotes. The deer raise their fawns in the thick underbrush, so I don't see them until the end of summer. They have enough to eat, but their only natural predator is cars. How wonderful that you saw a fawn!

Shari Randall said...

How lucky you were to see a fawn!
When I see deer in suburban areas it makes me sad. These beautiful creatures shouldn't have to live alongside speeding cars and roads. As your blog shows, cars and deer to not mix. In my sister's rural community, the police patrol every morning to remove deer that were struck by cars so school kids riding buses won't see the dead deer lying on the side of the road.
Bambi - that movie was responsible for a lot of tears!

KM Rockwood said...

We live on a few acres adjacent to a girl scout camp, which does not permit hunting. We are often over run with deer. Although we don't hunt, we permit a few people who we know are responsible hunters to use our land, in the hopes of controlling some of the population. It's sad in a snowy, cold winter, like we just had, to see the starving deer trying to find food. We've had them climb up on our deck so they can eat the shrubs from above.

There have been some experimental programs where deer are either caught and neutered, then released, or shot with birth control darts. I don't know how practical they are.

The fawns are adorable. Sometimes an inexperienced doe won't bed her fawn down, and then they wander, sometimes crying piteously. I can only hope the mothers manage to find them again.

Gloria Alden said...

Margaret this is the first time I saw a fawn in my woods. I rarely see any deer, either, but their hoof prints on my paths through the woods show me they use the same paths I do.

Shari, how nice that the police patrol to call in someone to remove the dead deer in your sister's community. I've seen dead dear along the side of the road for days sometimes. I once had one in my ditch that eventually I had to call the highway department to have them get rid of it. I'm sure I'd still puddle up if I watched Bambi.

KM, I cover my rhododendrons closer to the woods with bird netting before the snow comes. When I have a good crop on my old apple trees, they come into my back yard to eat what they can reach. However last year a late frost or something left all my apple trees with no apples so I'm not sure what they found to eat. I think my little fawn was disturbed by Maggie.

Patg said...

Deer????? Where would I ever encounter deer? :) Now geese, the rotten, big so and sos. Ugh.
Oh, I did see a rare, maned, female lion in Africa. That was exciting.
Patg (who belongs on a starship, not out in the woods. :)

Gloria Alden said...

Pat, I love the woods. It's my favorite time of the day taking those morning walks. So peaceful and lovely and the silence except for the occasional bird singing. I'm not fond
of geese, either. Quite messy creatures, they are.

Anonymous said...

When Bambi lost his mother I always cried my eyes out, no matter how old I was when watching! I once had a dear friend who had a native Indian outlook on the hunting and killing of animals to provide meat for the family. He changed my outlook and also created a taste for venison. My best friend and her husband and family members all hunt. I have heard how the deer population in Ohio is at dangerous levels. But oh, Bambi will always be a sweet childhood memory. They are beautiful creatures.

Grace Topping said...

Believe it or not, this morning I looked out my front window and saw a deer in our front yard. I thought, "How sweet," until he squatted down and then relived himself right in the middle of our lawn! I feel sorry for these creatures who have been displaced because of suburban building, but I can no longer plant hosta and many other plants because the deer eat it like salad.

Gloria Alden said...

Anonymous, they are beautiful and graceful creatures and easy to love until you've been involved in a car accident with one. So far fortunately I haven't, but I worry when I'm
on the road at night. My son has shot several deer and he and his wife like venison, but
I don't have much of a taste for it. He stopped hunting years ago.

Grace, you're right about them liking hostas. Fortunately, except in the winter they don't come anywhere near my house and gardens, and of course in the winter all the hostas have died back for the winter. I doubt very much that he or she did damage to your lawn from urinating on it. Still, it had to be exciting to see one in your front yard, especially when it coincided with my blog. Actually, Grace, I sent it to you. :-)

E. B. Davis said...

No, I wasn't a Bambi fan. I lived where hunting was a big sport. Deer ran out on the road and caused many driving problems. When I think of deer, I think of deer ticks and Lyme Disease. Although I have eaten venison, it isn't my favorite. In my beach neighborhood there are lots of deer. A neighbor told me to forget having ornamental plants because the deer eat them. We'd like to at least have tomatoes, but we may have to settle for a container garden on the decks. While I don't have anything against deer, I'm not real warm and fuzzy with them either.

Gloria Alden said...

E.B. my father never hunted, but my grandfather did. I'm not sure where he went because there weren't many deer around when I was growing up. I don't think deer will eat tomatoes. At least I've never heard that they do. I'm having far more problems with rabbits and chipmunks as far as my plants go. I wish we had more coyotes around to control the rabbits. Chipmunks sleep at night so I don't know what to do about them.