[Chronique de Josée Blanchette] The deer lady

I could have become an old lady with pigeons in a park (or with camellias: white is yes, red is no), but fate wanted me to be a lady with deer on the edge of the forest. Call them white-tailed deer, deer of the mangroves — where do they grow in Quebec? — or cariacou, deer have become my intimate friends and I talk to them out loud.

In my part of Estrie, they are everywhere, in groups too, 11 in a cornfield this week, always present when I go walking at the end of the day, both curious and on the lookout. It feels like Michel-Chartrand Park in Longueuil.

We notice each other, I slow down, they freeze, gauge me, I try to seduce me in a soft voice, it can last for long minutes before seeing them clear off with an elegant dash, their white tails in the air like a pennant that says shit or Bella ciao. I often photograph them, as proof that elves exist.

We are not born a deer, we become one; and again, not always, not everyone. Many called, few chosen.

On my land, they cause mayhem: buds, leaves and small fruits; I address them from the terrace. I domesticated them slowly. I even have a regular three-legged one that comes to eat my physocarp hedge at supper time in the summer. I didn’t have the heart to chase her when I saw her fawn by her side. Her innocent doe eyes and tripod resilience, hobbling on one foreleg, disarmed me. I would have offered them a little tapioca for dessert if I hadn’t held back. My deer thanked me with a whim and then crossed the street without hurrying too much, limping along. I nicknamed her my “chopine”.

Hopefully hunters won’t confuse it with a buck. From dawn and towards the end of 4 p.m., I hear the detonations of gunshots. The activity is intense at the moment, deer lawyer Anne-France Goldwater would be horrified. The predators in fluorescent bibs gully the territory on their 4-wheelers, transporting bruised apples and end-of-season carrots.

Canadian Tire sells them by the bag at the entrance to its regional stores. And even though Christmas decorations have largely encroached on hunting gear, camouflage boots and vials of synthetic dominant male urine are still selling well, at least until Sunday, the deadline.

I read in the daily The world this week that the sperm of men in heat was doing badly, with half the number of gametes worldwide for 45 years. Hunting gives them the opportunity to provide proof of a certain panache and triumphant virility. We can talk about biodiversity again with COP15, next month in Montreal. I hope that the descendant of the monkey will be on the menu of the day among the million species threatened with extinction. The sperm study evoked urgency… Another. bit.ly/3THBaUn

The world of lure

Do not believe, I know since my childhood the world of hunting and its deterrent artillery. I saw my father, my uncles and my grandfather indulge in this messy sport every fall, I ate « only » wood meat during all my university studies (my mother was too happy to s rid of them): deer, moose, caribou, bustard, hare, grouse. I cooked them with care, in stews, pies, stews or with cabbage.

I witnessed memorable scenes of raw masculinity, of raw smells and thick beards, of my grandfather’s roastings at night with the side effects during the day.

My pulmonologist father made me discover a virgin and pink deer lung like he never came across in the hospital. I ate liver stuffed with toxins disgorged in milk and pretended to be ecstatic in front of the plumes mounted at the taxidermist, in front of these trophies more dead than alive in a box of pickup.

Lévi-Strauss replied that he would have liked, once in his life, to speak as equals with animals.

I thought that was a lot of wasted testosterone, what we call « harvesting » the deer, to avoid the special ground beef at Steinberg. I understood the part of ritual, but I had not yet read the anthropologist Serge Bouchard. The masquerade of men to find the smell of sweat, mud and blood seemed very primitive to me, but there are still certain atavisms that are difficult to dissolve in theafter shave and the poetry of Jean-Paul Daoust.

It is by reading Become a deer, by Tony Durand, that I met my hero, a guy who thinks he’s a deer. “In the nomenclature of life, the deer is at the intersection of the goat and the leaf, like the honeysuckle, in short, but much more concise. This delicious little book offers us a vision of the world from the point of view of the doe, her calf or her boyfriend, with or without antlers, because he loses them every year. “Of course, I would see the hunting period coming back with annoyance; one inconvenience among others. That said, vanishing isn’t as hard as you’d think, and propelling yourself out of reach of those low-sighted dorks seems like a game of fawn; by farting in their face, to boot. »

Hit his deer

Flatulence is not always enough, a hunter having a success rate of 33% to bring back his buck with a hanging tongue. 52,000 deer ended their lives in the solitude of a bullet or an arrow in 2021. « I would instinctively know that just because you can’t see anything doesn’t mean there is nothing , and would even come to the opposite conclusion. […] Hidden in the woods, nestled under my woods, I would look at you and you wouldn’t know it, ”thinks Tony Durand’s deer.

“Which candidate do you think is more suitable for survival than the young deer? I can’t think of a more convincing person to embody change. He hasn’t dabbled in the old tricks of bipedalism. And then, the deer is a vegetarian from our enchanted forests.

Now, it remains to define what a roe deer of the fauna or a tame is. Part of M’s argumente Goldwater concerning those of the park of Longueuil rests on the fact that they are « domesticated », as is my cat. A real specist storm worthy of Brigitte Bardot! Anyway, their meat is deemed too tough, even if the subject is endearing. I claim a hascollective actione for my proteges too. Chatting with a sausage inspires me very little.


Instagram: josee.blanchette

JOBLOG | “Caribou” and the climate

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