The Hunts have a game they call “Deer.” It is a campsite version of “Hide and Seek.” One person is the hunter and carries a flashlight. Everyone else are deer, and hide in the woods. When the hunter shines his flashlight on a deer and identifies him or her, they become a dog and must help the hunter find the other deer. The dogs, however, are only allowed to bark. They can’t talk, shout out names, or use any other forms of communication to indicate when they’ve been successful in locating a deer.
This was my first experience with the game, but I was gung-ho, ready to make my mark and impress my future husband with my prowess. I started out as a deer, but unfortunately, was soon located, identified, and transformed into a dog. That was okay, though, I’d be the best darn dog they’d ever seen.
Stealthily, I crept through the bushes trying to locate the hidden deer. Success! I found Uncle Ethan hiding in a thick stand of brush. It was too dark to see him clearly, but he was the only one in the family that big and burly, so I began to bark furiously. Usually, when this happens, the deer bolts and tries to escape, but Ethan just stood there. I was afraid he would try to run, though, so I reached up and wrapped my arms around his neck to hold him in place and continued to bark, louder and louder, but no hunter appeared. “Yip, yip yip, where’s that darn hunter? Bark, bark, bark …”
Finally, I tired of barking at poor ole Uncle Ethan, who never made a sound, and curiously, never tried to run away. I decided the hunter wasn’t going to show up, so I let go of Ethan and headed back to the campfire. To my dismay, there sat Ethan.
“Ethan, what are you doing here?” I exclaimed.
“Oh, I didn’t play this round,” was his horrifying answer.
“Then who …” I didn’t finish the sentence, and tried to sink down into my chair, but the story was soon dragged from me of what I’d been doing out in the bushes for the past fifteen minutes or so.
It was concluded that I’d accosted a neighboring camper as he’d tried to relieve himself in the bushes. No wonder he didn’t run! This story has probably become legend around the stranger’s campfire as well. I made my mark, all right. But Jeff married me anyway.