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Jennifer Graham

In Weston, Bambi image gets in the way of culling deer

THE TOWN OF Weston has a Bambi problem, the source of which is not so much deer, or Walt Disney, but an obscure Austrian writer named Felix Salten.

It was Salten who wrote the 1923 novel that became the 1942 movie “Bambi,” after which it has never really been OK to shoot a deer in America again. Oh, people still do it, just like people still eat double cheeseburgers topped with bacon, but they must shrug off widespread disbelief and contempt. Bambi changed us, and for the worse. In the novel, he matures from a mewling fawn to a pitiless stag, but the movie-going public fails to make a similar transition. In New England, fawning season is May through July, but humans fawn over Bambi all year long, making it tough to be a Weston selectman these days.

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