When I was quite young, often my family and I would venture out to Waterton Park on a Saturday. This was during the 1970’s – long before we knew it just wasn’t a good idea to feed the wildlife. We were in the car, a light blue Oldsmobile. My father was happily stopping every chance he could, when we would see deer wandering down the narrow road (which was quite often), opening up the window and offering said deer potato chips.
Today, we’d never do that (or maybe you would, but it’s not good for the poor deer) but back then it was perfectly acceptable. I was known for blurting out odd things here and there but typically, I was a quiet and sullen child.
I think I was about seven or eight, well, maybe a bit younger, at the time and on this occasion I decided that it would be a good idea to express my knowledge on the sex of this deer that was quite content accepting and devouring delicious, salty chips.
“Mom, “I said very astutely. “That’s a girl deer.”
“Oh really??” Suddenly she was unusually interested in what her middle child had to say. “How can you tell?” She eyed me somewhat suspiciously and with great interest. I found myself thrown into the centre of attention…which was odd for me.
I was extremely puzzled that she didn’t know and giving her an I’m amazed you haven’t figured this out on your own look…I said very proudly.
“Because, mom, she has long and curly eyelashes!”
With much relief, my parents burst out laughing.
It would be several years before I figured out why…