Friday, February 21, 2014

Drunk Betty: Deerstalker

Caught out at the end of the breeding season – greedy buck, thick sticky snow – the skittish doe carried his load for weeks longer than her cousins and second cousins and sisters.

But after a long winter and a kicky spring she dropped a two-headed fawn, her first, in a back yard.

Image by Darryl Joel Berger.
Ten weeks in, the skittish doe left the fawn safe and unsound under a shrub. Twenty feet away, her matchstick legs were taken out by a carful of careening teenagers.

At first, the homeowner thought the two heads were her rusty garden spades – surprised by that first blizzard and left out all winter – but then she spotted the fawn at the other end of the yard, the light through the clouds starved and cold. Twins, she thrilled, near-sighted. And put out freezer-burned corn.

So the two-headed fawn survived its first week alone. So it ambled here and there, on legs like hand-dipped candles.

Its tawny spots were fed by vacant lot fodder – clover and crab grass and blue plastic bag – an indigestible bellyful.

The fawn was all soft bones and bleating teeth when it fell. It broke down and was broken down. Not like a flooded car. Not like a butcher’s diagram. The fawn’s collapse at the foot of a scrub tree was soft and fine.

And so the fungi in its crowded roots were fed by two-headed fawn and two-for-one plastic.

The mushrooms grew blue and its spores were blue and it heaved them like cigarette smoke though the fawn’s tiny splayed ribs and then Drunk Betty – Bettina to her sad mother waiting at home – breathed them in.

It was a two-headed high.

* * *

This story is part of the bestiary that Kingston artist/writer Darryl Joel Berger and I are building. Image/text is so much fun.

No comments: