Oct. 23, 2006 — -- Seventh-grader Kevin Cox was reminded this weekend that animals are unpredictable, and sometimes, just plain odd.
Kevin was warming up for a cross-country race in Bend, Ore., when a deer strolled by.
He and the other kids decided to say hello, but this Bambi wasn't quite as sweet as the Disney deer.
"I thought it would be pretty cool to pet a deer," Kevin said. "So I walked up and started petting this deer. And then it jumped on my back so I pushed it off and started walking away. And then I looked back and saw it running after me. That really scared me."
"So I started running away, and I thought it was kinda funny at first," Kevin said. "Until, you know, it ran after me for a good about seven minutes."
Kevin's cross-country training came in handy in this situation.
"I didn't know what the deer was gonna do to me when it caught up," he said. "I ran off. … And I was jumping over bushes. And I was running around in circles to get it to stop following me, and it kept on following me. That was kinda creepy."
Finally, the deer overtook Kevin and got a little overly friendly.
"It caught up to me, and then it jumped on my back and started licking my ear, so I pushed it off and it started licking my ear again," Kevin said. "So I just kept on running, and there were coaches with sweat shirts and they yelled at me to come towards them. So I ran towards them, and they shooed the deer off with their sweat shirts."
Kevin and his coaches have a theory on why the deer chased him.
"The coaches said that it wanted the salt from the sweat on my back, and, um, I think it was using me as a human salt lick," said Kevin, who learned a valuable lesson from the bizarre encounter.
"I don't think I'm ever going to pet a deer again."