I admit it. It was the photo that pulled me in. (You must click here to see it… my requests for permission to repost it went unanswered. I blame last-minute shopping.) Back to the photo. Come on, are you kidding me? A reindeer against a snowy backdrop, with candy canes and Christmas lights strung through its antlers? How could I resist putting this on my blog on Christmas Eve?
The tie-in to good deeds, of course, is the animal rescue that followed. Because I now must admit that the reindeer did not purposely festoon himself with lights and ornaments just because he’s so damn full of holiday spirit. Rather, the decorations became tangled in his antlers by accident, after he came too close to a residential area full of seasonally bedecked bushes and trees. (Banff, Alberta, apparently is a festive place.)
And if we’re being completely honest, he’s not even a reindeer. He’s an elk.
The snow is real.
After a Banff resident spotted the poor animal in distress, Parks Canada was called in to help. The elk had to be tranquilized before he could be freed. And in the end, park staff decided to remove his antlers while he was under, to prevent the same thing from happening again. As an insider told me, “We didn’t want all of the other reindeer laughing and calling him names.” (Oops, I’m fibbing festively again.)
And not to worry, the antlers will grow back. Presumably that will be well after local homeowners finally get around to taking down their Christmas lights.
I wish you all the best this holiday season: friends and family, love and cheer, warm food and a bottomless glass. We shall reconnect in 2014.