The native woodsman

After 11 years of marriage, I think that I know Martin pretty well: I know the tv shows that lure him into a hypnotic gaze, his choice of beer, flavor of gatorade, the fact that he douses everything in ranch dressing… hell, sometimes I can tell what he’s thinking and finish his sentences — which irritates him. And I know that it irritates him– and that’s why I do it.

Still, he has the power to stun me with his random proclamations. Like the one he sprung on me last week:

“I can smell deer.”

Really, I say skeptically. You can smell…deer.

“Yea, I just noticed it the other day when I was outside.”

How do you know that you smell deer? What do they smell like?

“Sort of musky, like a fox.”

Please, that’s like saying that some kind of meat tastes like chicken.

“Maybe it’s because it’s summer and they’re sweating more. Maybe I smell their sweat. But I’m telling you: I smell deer!”

Martin’s super-human skill sent me scurrying to the internet where I embarked on an unsatisfying search for answers. As to the deer perspiration question, I dug up an ambivalent paragraph in “Deer of North America” in which biologists suggest that deer, in fact, do not sweat.

My quest for information on humans smelling deer yielded even less, which tells me that with all the ludicrous and idiotic information posted on the web, even the internet has its limits.

So I’m highly skeptical of Martin’s olfactory sense. But I’ll grant him this: in nine years living here, he’s shed his suburban skin. On Friday a bird mysteriously found its way into our kitchen, and bashed up against the window until I called Martin for help. Any able-bodied soul can snag a bird, but Martin approached it with an arm-full of laundry and plucked the bird out of the air. With one hand.

So for the time being, I’ll let him think that he smells sweaty deer.