So pretty — except when they have rabies and kick you in the face. (AP)

Here is a rather uncommon headline: “Deer with rabies kicks LaVale woman in face.”

The headline appeared Monday on top of a rather uncommon Cumberland Times-News story that began: “The last thing Theresa Stevens expected to happen July 6 was to be kicked in the face by a deer, especially a deer that had rabies.”

I kept reading:

Stevens, whose home is directly behind Jolly Roger Discount Liquors, said she had let her Yorkie out of the house at 6 a.m. when she looked up and found herself nose to nose with a deer.

“It stood up on its back legs and hit me in the cheek with one hoof and on the shoulder with the other,” Stevens said.

Stevens pushed the deer away, grabbed her dog, and awakened her husband, Larry, telling him she had been attacked by a deer.

“He thought I was crazy,” she said.

I have to admit: So did I, a little. And then Stevens said this: “I got it a bucket of water and it stuck its head in it. Larry got some video of the deer under the car.”

Putting her cut and scraped hands in the water with the deer’s head: bad idea. The deer’s saliva was in there, mixing with her open wounds. The deer was eventually put down, a state lab confirmed the rabies, and now Stevens is undergoing a series of injections that will last until next month.

Yes, a deer with rabies is unusual. George Timko, a Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service biologist, said a raccoon is the likely source for rabies. Anyway, Stevens has apparently learned an important life lesson from the uncommon encounter with Bambi’s kinfolk.

She said, “I won’t be hospitable to any more wildlife.”