558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
The four-foot deer statue in Debbie Smith’s yard was returned this past weekend, thanks to some thoughtful friends.
The first thing Debbie Smith used to see when opening her curtains in the morning was a buck statue in her yard—a family heirloom.
It was also the last thing she looked at when she closed her curtains at night.
That is, until Saturday, May 25. That morning, she looked out her window, and the buck was missing from her yard. Smith was devastated, and she couldn’t believe that someone would actually take it. She indicated that the statue weighs 100 pounds, and is made of concrete.
“I just didn’t think anybody could just pick that up and just take it so easily. I never thought they would steal it out of my front yard.”
But that was just part of the story. Approximately one week after the deer was stolen, it turned up, thanks to some thoughtful friends who brought the statue back. The deer was taken as part of a prank by some local teens, and thankfully, the whereabouts became known to some of Smith’s acquaintances.
Smith had put out emails and put up some posters around town about her missing deer. Her friend, Donna White, heard from some friends that some teens may have taken the deer as a mischievous joke.
“I think it was just a prank, and people don’t understand how hurtful that can be,” said White.
She added that she didn’t know how much it meant to Smith until she showed up with the deer in her pickup. She didn’t realize that Smith’s mother had purchased it for her grandmother 30 years ago, or that the buck, along with a set of doe statues, was the last possession Smith received when her grandmother passed away one year ago.
“When we pulled up and knocked on her door, and said ‘this guy’s been out playing reindeer games and we’re bringing him home,’ and she saw what was in the back of our truck, she just burst into tears,”’ recalled White. “People don’t realize that some of these things have meaning.”
Smith said that her neighbors came out their doors when they saw that the buck was being brought back.
“I want those kids to realize that sometimes pranks sometimes really hurt,” she said. “They didn’t realize the value of that deer to me.”
She emphasized that it was taken the weekend of the anniversary of her grandmother’s passing.
“If it was any other weekend, it probably wouldn’t have hurt as bad,” said Smith.
Smith had a small chain wrapped around the deer before it was stolen, but she said now she is chaining everything down in her yard.
“It’s just sad that you can’t set stuff out anymore.”
She is moving some of her smaller statues into her back yard.
“She (her grandmother) had it in her front yard for more than 30 years,” said Smith “My grandmother was the one who gave me the appreciation of flowers in my yard and decorating. So when Grandma passed away, I got the set of three deer.
“I always saw it in her front yard, and I always loved them.”
Smith, who lives on the heights, said that now the buck is back in her front yard, majestically presiding over its place in her flower bed.
“I don’t feel that you should have to hide your stuff. It should be something you put in your yard for everyone to enjoy.”