We rolled out of bed a little before 7 this morning so we could do our grocery shopping early to avoid a lot of people. As I was dressing, Jim took the bird feeders out, the ones we take in because deer will empty them overnight. We built our house 11 years ago on a lot in a small suburban neighborhood that is well established, most of the house were built 40 years ago or so. We learned from neighbors and experience that this lot has been a long establish deer run, to the vacant lot across the road and farm fields just beyond a hedge row.
What Jim found was a new-born fawn in the middle of our small back yard. We watched as he slept in what a assume is a fetal position, with his ears twitching at each new bird sound. It was a chilly, rainy morning so we waited inside the three-season room to see if mom would return soon. She didn’t, so we went to the store.
The first thing Jim did when we got home was to check on the fawn and he was still there. He was still in the same spot, still asleep. I put away groceries and poured a cup of coffee to sit a spell looking out the window at the sleeping fawn. Watching him breath in and out and watching his ears twitch were so relaxing. When Jim stood over my shoulder to watch he said the same thing. There was something healing about this new life amidst the sickness and death of COVID-19.
I fixed a nice hot breakfast of french toast, turkey bacon, coffee and orange juice and when we were done, he was still there. It was raining hard and Jim wished I could take a blanket out to cover him. My sewing area is in that corner of three-season room, in front of the window over where he was sleeping. I kept an eye on him as occasionally he would pick his head up and lick his leg. Just after 11:00 he started to stand up and that is when I realized he really had come into this world, into our back yard, sometime in the night. He had some trouble figuring out how to stand on his legs and how to get them to move his body forward. A couple of times I thought he was going to take a topple.
He knew where he wanted to go. Without looking around he headed towards the row of lilac and rose of sharon bushes between us and our neighbor. He seemed to be after the tender, new buds and young leaves. He spent a bit of time nibbling here and then there, wobbling through the thinly growing bushes to reach the best. After a while his legs gave out and he laid down for a rest.
About an hour later I looked and he was gone. I don’t think he wandered away from the protective shelter of the hedge so I assume his mom came and got him. I learned last year that a new fawn has no scent to attract predators so is safer just after birth if the mother leaves it. There are coyotes in the neighborhood and the mother wouldn’t be able to defend her newborn against a family of them.
I’ve been thinking of the fawn all afternoon, hoping that he is well with his mom. I guess I became attached in that short span of half a day. I appreciate that my nurturing and compassionate nature is still well and working in the midst of the news I’m hearing of people who are more interested in their freedom to do what they want, when the want to, instead of thinking of the greater good. It is so refreshing, even rejuvenating to experience new life.