by Gary Paulsen
Does anyone know what wild animal killed the most people last year, here in
the U.S.? [Take responses from your audience. Almost no-one guesses correctly—if
someone does—say just that—“Wow! Almost no-one gets that answer
It’s deer. Yes, that’s right. Deer. Deer kill more people each year in the U.S. than any other wild animal. Gary Paulsen will show you why:
The place is the parking lot of a national park—you know the kind of place with fire pits and picnic tables before you head up into the trails. [Read from pp. 54—56 beginning with:] “It was early summer and a young buck—he had only a forked horn still in velvet—had attached himself to a child and his mother”. [Continue through the death of the child, ending with:] “…and finally the little boy, still and so small, lying on a gravel pathway, not terribly far from a sign that said Don’t Feed the Deer.”
Like many people, Gary Paulsen had to learn to respect the wild the hard way—and it nearly killed him more than once.
Check out Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books for the real life stories—like this one—from the man who doesn’t just tell adventure stories—he lives them.
by Kirsten Edwards of King County Library System