When Sue G., Slippery Rock Township, PA., saw her cat in her window she breathed a sigh of relief. She had just discovered the severed end of a head of an unknown creature in her mailbox.
At first, she thought it was a scarf, but when she touched it she was startled, and when she looked closer she saw some fur. At least she knew it wasn’t her cat!
The December 13th online Post Gazette news report read as follows: Her first thought was that someone had sent her a gift to her Slippery Rock Township home. “I thought it was a knitted scarf,” she said. “It was red and different colors.” Then she touched it and looked a bit closer. It was a severed deer head. “It basically filled the box,” she said. After slamming the box closed, she called the post office. “They said, ‘Yuk’ and said I should call the state police,” she said. A trooper from the Butler barracks removed the head.
The “kill” that filled her mailbox took her so by surprise, she said. Although she herself didn’t identify the item as a deer, she stated that it was identified as such by the State Police.
While Sue cannot discuss her theories of why her mailbox received well, a version of “road kill,” because the case is still under investigation, she did share a conversation she had with a friend shortly after the incident.
“I’d just come from a gig and was checking my mail,” said the solo handbell player. “A friend asked me if I gave a bad performance. I told her I did hit a bad note, but I didn’t think it was that bad!”
She feels one has to view a situation such as this with humor, and enjoyed the results of an exercise done at the December 14 meeting of the Beanery Writers Group. The prompt was to read the news article and create an explanation for the “gift.” (A prompt is a subject one is supposed to write spontaneously in a limited time, say five minutes. It is not meant to be a final draft or a complete composition.)
— The sender could not get the entire body in the mail box. Joan.
— Sue Garton, a sharpshooter, felt ambushed by deer in her back yard. One by one she took aim from her shotgun. Carcasses filled her yard. Soon her garage became the processing plant as she prepared deer meat for the freezer. Her nosy neighbor felt incensed that Sue would shoot out of season instead of reporting the incidence to the police, said neighbor slipped into Sue’s garage one evening, packed a severed deer head in a red towel and quickly deposited the bloody object into
Sues mailbox. “Serves her right,” she thought.
—The gift had to be from a deer slayer who wanted the woman’s romantic attention. He’d been stalking her for a year, too shy to make direct contact. His love for her was, for him, thorough. He’d heard her say that she thought that the story of Rudolph was demented, and should be eliminated. He wanted to fulfill her every desire. Had Sue looked further into the situation, she would have seen that the deer head sported a bright red nose. Thus, Sue’s wish that Rudolph was dead was, in his mind, granted. He truly thought she would appreciate this gift. He was not giving her a gift, but was fulfilling one of her dreams. —Carolyn
—Perhaps it was supposed to be an “I love you dear” present but it got a little out of hand. Or maybe it was supposed to be delivered to a taxidermist—with a similar name or address.
—Joe had several thoughts. Some poor dumb ass thought it was a good joke. OR this is somewhat akin to the incident in the Godfather where a horse’s head was deposited in a Hollywood producer’s box. But whether for humor or intimidation, it is a sad commentary on human behavior. — Joe
—To look for a reason for this dastardly gift is like going to a bakery for a jackhammer. The motive behind this act couldn’t be construed as logical; hence, no reasonable person would have done this. Joanne
The day after Sue received her gory package, she “opened the mailbox very slowly. ‘I was delighted to see mail,’ she said,” according to the Post Gazette report. She’s also delighted to be able to play with her cat.
The Beanery Writers invite writers—or anyone else with a reason why anyone would be given the “gift” Sue received—to respond in the comment box or E-mail their reasons to firstname.lastname@example.org . Be sure to put the words “Gift Reason” in the subject line.