I was driving into my driveway at eleven one morning, and there stood a deer.
I honked . . . and it stood. I honked repeatedly, and it continued to stand.
I jumped out of my car waving and shouting, behaviors I display on a daily basis every time I see a deer in my garden. It slowly ambled a short distance to a flower bed.
I advanced shouting my usual litany: “GO ! GO ! GO!”
And it took a few more leisurely steps.
I yelled and advanced some more. No response from the deer.
I jumped up and down screaming, and suddenly the deer raced out of my driveway into the street in front of a passing car. The driver miraculously avoided a crash, and the deer strolled into the yard across the street from mine.
I ran to the sidewalk and stood watching to ensure that it didn’t return to my yard.
A kind neighbor walking his dog, having witnessed my theatrical display, stopped beside me. Sympathetically he put his arm around me and made soothing comments about taking deep breaths to help my heart rate and blood pressure return to normal.
When another neighbor stopped, the first witness explained that I had just had a terrible shock. Later, as I replayed the scene in my head, I realized that while I act this way several times each day, that to him I must have seemed to be hysterical. Mentioning that I had experienced a shock was his tactful way of saying that I had gone completely berserk!