PART 1: THIS TOWN IS NOT OUR OWN
I’m writing this behind drawn curtains, because, well… I’m going to reveal a dark secret about Joseph town.
Tourists are often awed by the majestic mountains just outside of town and enamored with the sidewalk shopping along Main Street. The friendliness of the locals enchants the visitors, resulting in the comment, “I want to live here!”
That’s all well and good, but full disclosure must be given about what goes on in the obscure neighborhoods tucked behind the charming the storefronts of downtown Joseph.
I’m talking about the gangs that have taken over the streets, The Guardians and The Nomads.
The Guardians are the abundant gangs of deer who intrude their way onto any property they wish. Mayor Sands and the council members make think they are the decision makers in this town, but The Guardians call the shots.
The Guardians use extortion to finance protective services. It may cost some tulips or apples from your tree, or the use of a fine lawn for a poop depository, but you will pay.
Some may say, “Just use your gun to dispose of them.” But The Guardians have back up. I guarantee, if it is discovered that one of these deer has been shot, even if the meat is donated to the Food Bank at Community Connections, complaints will be raised against the shooter and his family. Worst of all, they will be gossiped about for months.
“Remember what ol’ Joe did with that buck on Mill Street, dontcha know,” a coffee drinker at the Cheyenne Café will bring up. Without further discussion, others around the table will shake their heads in disgust, for they all DO know what Joe did.
The Guardians use bullying as their modus operandi. One time a doe I’ve named Daisy entered my yard as the matriarch of her entourage of younger does. She stomped her foot several times at my dog, insisting it pay homage to her. Then she jerked her head around and chased the other does away. In a regal stance, her head held high, she marched on to my neighbor’s yard.
I tell you, she thinks she owns the place.
The Guardians by name imply that they are protectors, so it raises the question, “From whom?”
That would be the Nomads. But my word budget forces us to wait until next week for the description of these terrorists and the gang wars.
Originally published March 30, 2016 in the La Grande Observer. Reprinted with permission.