Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Six:
Case File No. 10-270
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Where We Left Off:
In our last case, we had to call in an expert to manage the situation with the terrifying hornet nest.
The middle of May delivered some magnificent creatures to the estate for Oliver, Gus, and I to observe and study. We got to see several white-tailed deer and hybrid Jersey devil-deer of various ages. Spotted fawns ran around the yard like exuberant puppies.
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These little spotted babies are an absolute joy to watch. Their mother is always close by even if you don’t see her. It takes time for her to go away and nourish herself. When a doe leaves a baby behind, it’s usually on purpose. Part of it is to keep predators who might target her from targeting the much easier to catch baby. The other thing that she does need to go find her food in order to keep nursing. Once the babies are old enough and strong enough to explore and learn some life skills, their mothers let them get all that energy out. Play fighting and having excellent running away skills are important for this species.
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There were several times when I had no idea that a deer was nearby. Gus has his usual places to explore, hunting, and check all the scents around for strangers. One area is at the western edge of the property which borders woods. The private road does go up through, but since no one is using it, that’s been quiet. I tend to be focused on the birds and chipmunks since they want their peanuts. I’ll have my head down for small critters or looking up at the trees and then when I take a step, I end up scaring a deer. They usually run away, but a couple times, we ended up spending some time together.
One fella was willing to get to know me while he ate breakfast. He didn’t seem to care about Gus and the feeling was mutual. We made a new discovery!
Previously, we learned that the off-spring of Jersey devils and white-tailed deer could have varying genetic qualities. Some had wings and could fly a little bit (kind of like turkeys; capable of lifting off the ground to reach tree branches, but not soaring). Some could walked easier on their hind legs. All of them appear to be herbivores. They also have an important role as liaisons between humans, mundane world animals, and the underworld/magickal creatures.
As Gus and I watched a couple of button buck devil-deer over the course of a week, we saw something extraordinary! They had wings. Awesome! We don’t see those often. But, they could also camouflage their wings!
Oliver told me to try harder getting photos that aren’t completely blurry. It was easier to accomplish with the buck willing to hang out with us. They still aren’t perfect. When I click the button, I can’t help but shake the camera a little. I don’t take a tripod out on our daily adventures because I have too much stuff to carry as it is. Most of the time, you can tell what the subject is, but not always.
We we were back home and had started to gather our research, Ollie suggested that maybe the wings are hidden from view on a particular lightwave of a spectrum. I barely understood any of that in high school physics so I nodded and listened even when I didn’t completely follow what he was saying. There’s infrared, ultraviolet, even X-Rays. Ollie’s theory is that if a viewer had the ability to identify which spectrum the devil-deer uses for camouflage, then technology could be created to allow human eyes to see it.
That sounds good so far. We just have to find a scientist who studies spectroscopy and can tell us what spectrum the animals use. I don’t know any off the top of my head so this may take a while.
The other part of the theory is building the technology to see that spectrum. I have a feeling that’s easier than the discovering phase, but I’m not sure.
Now, the question is Why? Why would the devil-deer cryptids need to hide their wings at all? Since hunting for trophies, “sport,” and food are still part of our ecosystem, there’s no doubt any creature considered exotic would have a target on it. There are state laws allowing for the population control of white-tailed deer which is probably the most common game meat. We had to consider why another creature would want to disguise itself as a popular game animal.
It’s a matter of being considered common versus rare like a great Yu-Gi-Oh! card (pour one out for Kazuki Takahashi). The cryptids stand a better chance blending in with average animals people see every day. If a hunter spotted one with its wings out, it would be too tempting to kill it. The excuses varying from to study for science, to have the only trophy, to become famous, and even to taste cryptid meat.
Our discovery that the cryptid hybrid Jersey devil-deer can camouflage their wings if they are of the winged variety, is a massive piece to the puzzle of local wildlife. We believe we also understand why the creatures have this ability. The only thing left for science to do is figure out how to see the wings without disturbing the animals.
Case Status: Closed