SPIKE had a rough start to life, but he is making the most of what made him an outcast.

The Danish red deer lives on Bob Butler’s property, not far from Whakatane, possibly unaware of his likeness to the nine reindeer who have a big job next week.

Bob, who has had his Thornton Road lifestyle block for 25 years, says Spike was born at Christmas in 2016 and was all white. But the Christmas Cervidae’s tale took a turn for the worse when the grinch-like hinds in the paddock turned on the festive fawn.

“It was rejected and the other mothers in the paddock were whacking it,” Bob says.

“Luckily it was in the paddock close to the house, so I could remove it. And from there I hand-reared it.”

Bob says he bought 10 pregnant deer and was told a white stag had been in the paddock with the hinds, so a white deer was on the cards.

“I have had people ring me who have had likewise animals. But they are a bit put off when they hear he is a stag. He is pretty tame but can get a little dangerous during the rutting season.

He gets a bit boisterous.”