Baby Deer

Late this afternoon, while talking on the phone to a friend, I saw a deer outside my window.  I glimpsed spots, so I grabbed my camera to head over to take a few snaps of the baby deer.  However, when I got close enough, I saw that the fawn was hurt, bleeding.  I quickly hung up the phone and called my mom to ask her what to do.  My mom said she’d call my dad and come right over.

*          *          *          *          *

Let me take a moment to interrupt my story.  Years ago when I was a little girl, we had a pet deer named Bambi.  My grandfather found Bambi in a hay field, hungry and weak.  He brought her home for us to take care of, and we fed her formula from a bottle.  Bambi became our friend, and she enjoyed living with our sheep.  After the first year, Bambi would jump in and out of her fence, eating some of the food we left for her and then returning to the wild.  We would often see Bambi in the apple orchard, and she’d come close so we could pet her.  Later, we saw Bambi with her fawns, a set of twins.  She would come close with them, and we could feed her apples, though her babies were timid.  We worried that Bambi would be easy prey for a hunter, and so nobody was allowed to hunt on our farm.  Ever since then, I have always wanted another pet deer.

Me and my brother Jonathan with Bambi, our pet deer.

Me and my brother Jonathan with Bambi, our pet deer.

*          *          *          *          *

I walked toward the hurt fawn struggling on the grass.  I saw that it was bleeding from its hind legs, and one of its ears was torn.  I wasn’t sure if it had been hit by a car or attacked by an animal, but I suspect it was a car.  It didn’t look too badly hurt, I thought, so maybe I could nurse it back to health.  Moving a little closer, I thought I saw it stop breathing.  I waited, and it took another breath.

My mom called me back and said that my dad said to leave it alone and let nature take its course.

I wanted to pet it, ease its pain with some companionship.  “It’s okay,” I repeated in a soothing tone.  As I got closer, I saw the fawn begin to have seizures.  It thrashed around in the grass for a few seconds, and then it was gone.  I never did pet it.

I called Ed and told him what had happened.  He was almost home, and I stared at the lifeless little body in the grass, wondering what I should do.

By the time Ed got home my eyes were filled with tears.  He looked at the fawn and then dragged it over to the woods to bury it.  My mom arrived and hugged me.  Ed placed the deer in the hole and filled it in.

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Baby Deer

  1. Ab,
    I’m so very sorry that you had to go through this. . . how sad! But, I’m glad you have such vivid, wonderful memories of our Bambi, who was a wonderful addition to our family and then was introduced to the wild when she was strong enough. I remember how she came back to visit and to eat apples in the orchard and how we loved to see her. As you know, your Dad also had a pet fawn (of course, named Bambi, too!) that was hit by a mower and which your grandfather stitched up and your dad and his siblings nursed back to health. I’m so sorry that we weren’t able to help this little fawn.
    Love,
    Mom

  2. **Sobs** I cannot begin to feel enough for you. I am so sorry that the wee one had to die, but I am so happy that it got to have someone kind and gentle beside him in the last moment of his too brief life.

  3. farmersdaughterct

    Thanks, Mom and Laura. I still feel so bad for the little fawn, but I’m glad that it made it to our yard and wasn’t alone when it died.

  4. Abbie, this fawn was so lucky to have you with him/her. I’m so sorry that you had to see the fawn suffer and pass from life.

    When Matt was a little boy, his family also nursed a baby deer back to health but unfortunately the deer had to be put down before they could release it back into the wild because a dog frightened it and as the deer tried to get away, it broke its neck running into the fence enclosure. To this day, Matt feels a special affinity for deer.

  5. farmersdaughterct

    Jessica- Oh, how sad. That must be an NB thing, nursing deer. Well I’m glad he can relate, but sorry the story didn’t have a happy ending.

  6. Abbie, I am so sorry. It is so hard to see that kind of stuff. It is easier, almost to pretend that it doesn’t exist. But knowing about it makes us stronger, makes us care more, try harder and be the people we are. I’m glad you were there in the end.

  7. farmersdaughterct

    Thanks, GB. I’m glad I was there, too.

  8. Abbie–

    I’m so sorry! What a sweet picture and poignant story. I’m so glad you were there.

  9. farmersdaughterct

    TheSpectrum- Thank you.

  10. Oh, that’s too bad! Fawns are so pretty and delicate looking. I’m glad it didn’t suffer too long.

  11. farmersdaughterct

    Joyce- In retrospect, I’m glad it didn’t suffer too long, too.

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