Wednesday, May 23, 2007
When we built our house on this beautiful two acre piece of Texas earth, the area all around us was very rural. Our road leading to our house was just a little dirt lane. There were only three houses along the three mile stretch of road and three large ranches. We had neighbors on one side of us, and our neighbors across the street were cows. They made wonderful neighbors – the humans and the cows – very quiet and peaceable. The cows would just give us a curious stare as we walked or drove by and the neighbors a friendly wave. The biggest excitement was when the cows found a break in the fence and wandered into the road. A call to the owner and they were safely behind barbed wire again.
We also had a lot of deer “neighbors” – cute but with an annoying habit of thinking everything I planted was a culinary offering just for them. One year I planted about two dozen impatiens plants under the cluster of large oak trees on the front lawn. I dug out under the trees, and my husband and son made a nice little rock wall all around the area. I had visions of beautiful pink and white flowers growing in great profusion under the shade of the lovely old oaks. Imagine my distress upon waking up the next morning to the sight of little green stems sticking up out of the new garden I had created. Obviously impatiens are not deer resistant plants.
In recent years the deer population has suffered the dubious benefits of urban development. Their home has been steadily diminished by a housing development, a shopping center and a huge box store. There is so little land left for them, I honestly am amazed they are still around. Every now and then we spot one or two when we are walking or riding our bikes. Sadly we have seen several that have been hit by cars. It just isn’t like it used to be – and the deer and I are not happy about it.
Yesterday on our bike ride my husband spotted a tiny fawn lying in the grass on the side of the road. It looked as though it couldn’t be more than a few hours old. It just lay there and lifted its little head to look at us with his huge deer eyes. We debated about trying to touch it or pick it up and decided that if the Mama was anywhere around that wouldn’t be a good idea. So we pedaled home as fast as we could.
As soon as we got home I called the Sheriff (as a little aside – this makes the third time I’ve called about a deer in need of help, and they have always responded. I could just imagine the dispatcher rolling her eyes and saying, “It’s the deer woman again.”). She was very kind and gave me the number of our game warden. When I reached him he said we should just leave it right there and the mother would very likely come back for it.
I wasn’t totally satisfied with that answer so I called the wildlife and rehabilitation center. The sweet girl there told me the same thing. She said that the mother deer could be gone for up to ten hours foraging for food and still come back for the baby. She also agreed with the game warden that we should absolutely not touch it or it might cause the mother to reject the poor little guy.
We decided to do as they had said, but I worried about something happening to that baby while his mama was off doing who knows what! I just kept praying about it off and on.
God is so good and patient and kind. I know He heard my prayer and that He watched over that fawn. When we went back later to check, he was gone. No sign of any “foul play” – just simply not there. We’re sure that Mom came back and took him home.
Thank You Lord for hearing and answering all my prayers. I love You so very much.