When I pulled the arrow from the heart of that Dogwood deer, I had no doubt who dunnit.
It was back in the 90s and Kathleen had seen a few life-sized seasonal decorative reindeer at Bachman’s or Menard’s or somewhere and she wanted one. They were made of all natural materials, willows and branches, and they cost at lot.
Seemed a shame to spend that kind of money on a fake deer when you had all the materials for it available in the garage or growing in the yard. So I cobbled together a PVC pipe skeleton and tied up twigs from our big Dogwood bush in the front yard. It took a few days, but soon I had a presentable life-sized reindeer for front yard display. A stag with oak horns, we called him "Twig." He looked as good as the ones at Bachman’s, you’ll have to trust me on this because our pictures of it are packed away for our next move.
Twig was so realistic that passing dogs would strain at their leashes and bark when they were walked by.
The morning after I put this pride and joy out onto the lawn, this artistic masterpiece, it had suffered an indignity unmatched by others.
I plucked the offending arrow from the chest area, a kill shot if there ever was one on a Dogwood deer, and marched across the street to see the usual suspect.
Bruce D. Grant denied having anything to do with it. Who would do such a disrespectful thing? he replied in mock concern. But it was no good. The twinkle in those steely eyes, just like his father the legendary Vikings coach, betrayed him.
We had a good laugh and I returned his arrow.
Bruce was a good friend. We golfed together on weekdays when he could sneak out of work. We joked over beers in the basement. Once he brought his little daughter Natalie over to present a tiny replica of Kathleen’s little yellow VW bug she liked so much.
They are burying Bruce today, the victim of a brain tumor. Much will be said about his many past deeds. We will remember him for his endearing sense of humor, a fun-loving neighbor, gone too soon at 57, a life well-lived.