The hot dry high altitude prairie wisps along a boring fifteen milesÂ west of spa town Thermopolis. There was no action, just dry air, as I wobbled along in solitude. That is, until I heard the screeching. It was a shrill, like a high pitched baby yelling in pain. Startled, I searched for the source of the bellowing screech. There lodged in the top strand of a barbed wire fence hanging upside down was a young deer with one hoof impossibly tightly wound in the taught barbed wire. I approached the animal but even with her head tilted to the earth screeched and kicked more violently. Each gyration tore more hair off her bleeding hoof.
I wobbled off swiftly but my support vehicle was two miles away. I retrieved a lug wrench and returned to the still screaming creature. I struggled unsuccessfully in the sun to untangle this little creature of God. Just then a tall stranger pulled up in a pick-up truck. “Been wrangling up in Coty.Â Had a good season. I’m headed home to Texas.”
Together we freed the frightened deer. In desperation, however, she jumped right back into the fence lodging her neck. She fought to free herself. The Texan mightily spread the fence while warning me to sand back. “She’s frightened”. Again the animal was freed. And again she lodged her neck in the fence. “Let her cool down”, the wrangler said.
An hour later I returned to the fence. The little deer was dead. She had strangled herself in the unforgiving fence. We had tried our best!
And I learned another lesson about life and death on the lonesome prairie.