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.
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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.
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.