Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
My name is Elizabeth Colton. I am nineteen years old, and I am an undergraduate student in my senior year at Utah State University, where I will graduate with a B.S. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. I was born and raised in Park City, Utah, where I still visit for holidays. I have also lived in Fremont, California. Like a lot of young adult residents of Utah who aren’t Mormon, I am spiritual, but not religious. I was homeschooled (just like my four siblings) for the entirety of my childhood, until enrolling Salt Lake Community College at fifteen. As I was growing up, my parents had me and my siblings learning multiple instruments (piano, guitar, drums, e-bass, and violin), and they put a huge emphasis on creativity. We were, and still are, a hugely artistic family.
Every single year, our family puts up these two deer that are covered in Christmas lights. We rarely put anything else up (not even lights on our house), but we always have these two deer. Sometimes they get buried, so only the antlers of the male deer were showing, and sometimes we dig the snow out around them. I recently told the story of the deer to an online group chat of mine, a bunch of people I met through writing fanfiction. I tell these people almost everything, and I’m pretty sure they do the same for me. We are constantly sharing stories and jokes, and I can honestly say that we’ve become a small, patchwork family. At this particular time, we were talking about putting Christmas lights up on our houses, and I couldn’t not tell this story, as I knew this group of people would find it hilarious. The did, in fact, find it hilarious (unless the emoji’s I received were a lie).
So… my family has these deer that we put up every year, and one time when I was like… five?... we come home from gym and the male deer was propped up against the doe? obviously humping her, but I didn’t know that.
My mum was absolutely mortified tho, she laughs when she tells the story now but my dad found it to be hilarious. I was straight up confused. I remember my older brother leaning over to me and just whispering, “sex,” so I guess that cleared things up a little for little me? We never found out who did it, it was probably just some random teenagers, but man… good times. It’s what we get for never having lights up properly on our house tho. I mean… come on!
I tell this story rather fondly, as it’s one of my earliest memories, so when I typed it up to my group chat, I was laughing. I also used the functions of the chat that allow you to strikethrough text (something I use constantly) for side information, something I didn’t even think about. The strikethrough comes as second nature when I’m messaging now. Whether or not my friends received the story with as much humor as I typed it with, I’m not particularly sure, but they did send messages of laughing emoji’s and “XD” faces (which, I guess is just the old version of laughing emojis).
Dr. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
Colton, Elizabeth, "Oh Deer" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 414.