May 7, 2013
Yesterday, as I stopped for a moment to see what the wildlife was up to, I spotted a fawn down in the wooded part of my property. It was looking for breakfast. It was going from small tree/bush/plant to small tree/bush/plant sampling each and taking seconds and thirds where it “liked”.
I started to look for its sibling and mother. Where there’s one, there’s three. The family unit seems to consist of a mother deer and her two fawns. There are at least 3 sets in the neighborhood as there are at times 9 deer (3 does and 6 fawns) in the back yard/woods. I soon spotted its sibling. Couldn’t see the mother which seemed a bit strange.
What kept my attention this morning was the antics of the first fawn. It would take off running and then, just as quickly, stop. It would jump over things it could have just walked around. It would jump around in-place. It was care-free. It was comical. I wondered if something was wrong.
Then it did something very out of the normal. It walked up the hill towards me. When it got to the lawn, instead to turning to the right or left to stay in the backyards, it kept coming. I was standing in full view in the picture window. It either didn’t see me, which seemed odd, or I was not a concern to it. It headed straight to the space between my neighbor’s house and mine. It, obviously, knew where it wanted to go.
I thought about how odd this was. They usually spend the day down in the woods where they split their time between pruning the vegetation and taking naps. They generally only come into the yard part of my property at night. And I’ve never seen them on the street side in broad daylight. They wait until the cover of darkness to devour the front yard plants.
The first fawn was soon followed by the second fawn, sampling the lawn on its way.
With the second one now disappearing between houses, I went around to the front. They were both enjoying my lawn. They weren’t eating the iris.
They looked a little rough with their winter coats now coming off in clumps. Was the one showing signs of growing antlers?
I wondered why they were being so careless – eating people’s front yards in broad daylight with cars driving by just feet away? Where was Mom?
Then it came to me. These fawns are now a year old. Mom was pregnant, about to give birth. She had to do what no Mom desires to do. She had to say goodbye to those she had raised.
Knowing what she had to do, one wonders what went through her mind. How hard was it knowing she may never see them again – knowing their weaknesses, wondering if they are ready to strike out on their own, questioning if one had done, prepared, showed, taught, enough.
Then the break. How did it happen? Did she send them off or did she take off? Did they try to follow? Did she look back? How long did it go on?
One can only imagine the scene.
And now one can only imagine how these two will do as they strike out on their own – going where, and doing that, which Mom wouldn’t let them. Their new life – both carefree and careless.
Life has changed. It’s a new day. Mom is gone.
One can look back, but there’s no turning back.
Mom can only pray.