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      Poems And Rhymes Of Our Times
...by Brian Cecil and Megan Cassavoy


Charlie and the One-Antlered Deer

One-Antlered Deer

Charlie loved to go deer hunting. He had been doing it for 25 years. He now hunted alone so no one could talk about him. Charlie loved to hunt deer but he was not adept at it. He had never taken a shot at one and hit it. He had seen a few but they rarely stayed still long enough for him to take a shot. He missed the few he had shot at. He had shot himself more times than he had shot a deer. His wife always hid in the basement while Charlie got his gear together. The deer seemed to be playing games with Charlie. They seemed to be playing a game that had rules that changed every time Charlie saw a deer.

The deer always knew when hunting season began. They noticed a lot of humans running around the woods wearing bright, yellow skins, shooting at them and then yelling. Most of these humans were bucks. They mostly missed but the smart deer ran away. The dumb deer were killed. The deer realized that running seemed to make hitting them harder. That was important to the deer.

Charlie knew he couldn’t hit a deer on the run. He couldn’t hit one standing still; he knew he wouldn’t hit one on the move. He hunted alone because he was tired of being laughed at. He sometimes thought the deer were laughing at him too.

The deer soon figured out they could run all day and then rest. The humans didn’t like the night. The deer thought the humans were afraid of the night. Why? They were the ones with the noisy guns. If just once they would stay the night the deer could sneak up on them and gore them with their antlers. That would put a stop to this nonsense.

The deer also noted that the bucks with the most antlers got the most attention; unwanted attention. They would fight one another by banging heads together. The doe thought they were being fought over but the bucks were trying to knock their antlers off. It’s also why they rubbed them on trees. They would have cut them off if they’d had knives and opposable thumbs.

Charlie had spotted one particular buck a few years ago. It had lost the antlers on one side. Most of the hunters refused to shoot it. They thought it was jinxed. It was the same kind of thinking that went into shooting an albino deer. No one would do that. No one would eat the meat and a true hunter ate the meat or, at least, gave it too someone who did. Sometimes after giving it to someone, and refusing to go to a venison BBQ, a hunter would tell on himself and then laugh uproariously. Many a mountain feud had started this way.

“You gave me albino meat”, Sam told hos brother-in-law.

“You don’t know that”, George told him.

“Well, everyone says you been tellin’ everyone I was eatin’ albino.”

“Ya believe everything you hear?”

“No, but I believe this.”

“I’d never do that to a friend.”

“We ain’t friends. I married your sister. You introduced us. Ya see how that worked out? I think you’re a rotten bastard.”

Charlie wanted that buck and only that buck. He’d seen it almost every year but never got close enough to take a shot. Deer don’t live forever and Charlie didn’t want to stumble across it’s bones one day. He thought the antler would look good on his wall. His wife hoped he never got it. She was confident she wouldn’t have a stupid antler to have to explain away.

The buck had been grazing under an overhang when a large rock fell and hit him in the head. It knocked him out cold. When he recovered he had only one antler. He also had less sense than before. He began to do the very things young bucks got killed doing- following humans. What he didn’t know was the hunters saw him and didn’t want to shoot him. What he also didn’t know was one hunter did want to shot him.

The one-antlered buck was following Charlie closely. When Charlie would turn the buck would lay down. Charlie would get a puzzled look on his face and then move on. There seemed to be movement behind him but nothing was there when he turned although it seemed like there was. The buck would then get up and follow Charlie again. This went on a long time. Charlie started to feel creepy. He thought about giving up and going home. He would have if he hadn’t spotted the one-antlered buck. The old buck had misjudged one time and was seen. The buck got up and ran. Charlie began tracking him.

The old buck could see Charlie following him. He kept going right and left to keep Charlie from taking a shot. It seemed to always work with these humans. He was pulling away from the human but the man was still coming his way. Would the human keep it up until dark and then leave? The old buck was feeling his age. He was getting tired from running and tired of the hunter following him. Time to show him who was the real woods denizen.

The buck got up a load of steam and took off, turning to the right and getting behind Charlie. He had to stop and get his breath back. Then he began a slow creeping up on Charlie. The one-antlered buck intended to get right behind Charlie and butt him as hard as he could. With luck, the human would shoot himself. At the very least, the man would get his dumb ass knocked to the ground. The old buck would take his victory any way he could.

Charlie felt disappointed when the buck galloped away. He could trail him easily enough. The old buck wasn’t trying to hide his trail. The trail turned to the right and began to circle. Charlie thought the old buck was getting tired and not thinking straight. At some point Charlie would catch up to him and take his shot. Charlie hoped the one-antlered, old buck didn’t drop over dead before he could shoot him dead. That sounded a little perverse to Charlie but he wanted that antler from a successful hunt.

The buck was right behind Charlie when Charlie suddenly stopped. He felt the hair on his neck go up. Something was very wrong. He felt creepy and shaky. Then he felt himself flying forward. He landed on his face. He felt like he had a stick up his ass. He twisted and saw the one-antlered buck pulling loose from Charlie and running across an old field. The buck stopped, looked at Charlie ans snorted.

Hurting or not, and he was hurting, Charlie jumped up, grabbed his rifle and aimed at the old buck. Charlie took his shot. He aimed at the heart area and pulled the trigger. The buck took off running. Oh, no, Charlie thought. He’d have to track the deer no matter how long it took. You don’t leave a wounded deer to die. You had to kill the deer dead as dead. Charlie sighed and began tracking. He need not have bothered.

The one-antlered buck was now the no-antlered buck.


The Rob Saga The Rob Saga is available as an ebook and in paperback. It is available at Createspace and Amazon.


There are people living on the edge in what is called Appalachia. They're called ridgerunners, rednecks, hillbillies and backwoods mountaineers. No one thinks of them very often. They don't earn much to society's standards.They stay where they are because they love the area. They are hard workers when they have work and self-sufficient to an extent not known to "outsiders." They are also very funny; they have a great sense of humor about themselves.

They are the salt of the earth and the backbone of America. Their stories are America's stories. These are the stories Of Appalachia.

Book is available as an e-book or in Paperback.
See a preview.

Appalachia Again

More stories of the people of Appalachia.

More of Joe Bob, Bubba and Earl, Mosh Henry and all of the rest of the good folks in Wabash County.

Book is available as an e-book or in Paperback.

See a preview.

Funny Stories Don Roble
Funny Stories
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