I have told my kiddos a million times, “If you ever see a fawn lying by itself, don’t ever, ever touch it.” (The thinking being that once you touch it, a trace of your scent remains and the mama doe will not come back for it.) It’s amazing to see these fawns, because they are so, so obedient. They lie absolutely still while their mamas feed nearby, and they don’t move, no matter what, until mama doe returns for them. It’s a sad thing when mama doe gets scared off, because the fawns sit waiting, and waiting, and waiting; and nature is sometimes very brutal when it comes to predators like dogs.
Well, luck would have it that while I was cleaning the kitchen the other day, one of the kids came running in hollering, “Mom, mom, Eden has a fawn.”
Oh, surely Eden wouldn’t have picked up a fawn after all my nature lessons . . . surely “Eden has a fawn” means Eden found a fawn and is watching it from a safe distance.
No such luck. I opened the door to find Eden on the steps with Bambi.
I’d like to say at this point my heart was crushed thinking of mama doe out there searching in vain for baby fawn. But that would be a lie.
My heart was crushed thinking of late night fawn feedings from warmed baby bottles every three hours or so, and what the heck kind of milk do you feed baby deer anyway?
So on a wing and a prayer we put said Bambi back exactly where Eden found her and quarantined ourselves safely inside. I noticed a doe hovering nearby and I clung to the hope that this was mama doe and she had a really bad sense of smell.
Sure enough we ate dinner and when we returned to check on baby fawn, she was gone.
Mother and child reunited.
All in a day’s work.
- Return to the Wild: A Deer Story (showmeoz.wordpress.com)