Half-way through the season of berating the senseless men who shot animals in Africa for sport this summer, I realized I was joining in their condemnation on Facebook with a profile photo of the deer head at the cabin.
The deer head has been at the cabin for at least 20 years. I knew my father hung it on the wall, but I never asked where it came from. He wasn’t a hunter and although some of my cousins are, the only evidence of their hunts is in their freezers.
In 2008, when a fire threatened the cabin, the deer head was one of the items my sister and I packed up. It was incredibly fragile and a little creepy. After the fire subsided we returned it to its spot on the wall.
I never gave it another thought until last fall when I started using it as a proxy for my Facebook profile picture.
Around Christmas, I received a message on Facebook from my stepmother, Mary that answered the mystery of the deer head’s origins.
“This photo made my day! It was actually purchased at a low-end taxidermist!! If you remember, we dragged it all the way home from New Mexico in your Dad's new Jaguar. I'm surprised he allowed it!”
I loved this story. And I love the deer head, but I think I’ll replace it as my profile picture soon.