On my strolls about suburbia with Tralfaz the Enormous Dog, I often see things that interest or surprise me. This surprised me:
I had to do a double-take. At first glance it didn't register because I had grown up in the city, where concrete deer were a commonplace on many of the postage-stamp lawns. Up in this area you never see them -- not even in the garden center -- because we have no need for them. We have actual deer, and plenty of them, wrecking gardens and ruining shrubs and running out in front of cars and crapping all over the place. When you have the real thing you usually have little desire to put up a phony representation, as in some fit of nostalgia. How can we miss them when they won't go away?
I wrote about other lawn pals almost exactly a year ago, gnomes and Mother Mary specifically. Of course there are toadstools and huge toads, too, and birdbaths, and St. Francis has become very popular, often among people who would have rejected the actual St. Francis and everything he stood for and 99% of everything he believed in.
Then there are lawn jockeys, about which I'll leave the reporting to our friends at Wikipedia, who seem to have been quite thorough. It's weird which topics Wikipedia covers well and in depth, as I've noted elsewhere.
But as I said at the beginning, most lawn statuary represents things you don't see normally -- comical figures like zombie cavalier jockeys, for example, as well as odd animals and cartoonish gnomes. (If you've been seeing Mary or St. Francis around in person, alert your local clergy.) So why the deer statue? Well, a lot of people around here have relocated from the city, self included, and I'd guess this little statue probably moved from a tiny yard in the Bronx to a nice big yard in the burbs. At least it's one deer that's not going to run out in front of my car.