6.10.2010

Two days ago there was a deer in my backyard. Behind this majestic animal sitting calmly by the peonies, there was a wobbly baby deer. It slept in the shade, curled, soft and new. About noon, Heather and I noticed that the mom deer was gone, but the baby was still there. We were nervous and we went to make sure it was still alive and not hurt. I didn't want to touch it, but I leaned close and saw the rib cage fluttering with the fast breath of a baby. We felt reassured that the mother would come back. She did come back a couple hours later, this time with another baby deer, just as small, following behind her. Somehow though, the baby got stuck on the other side of the fence by our garden and didn't know how to get to the mom. Heather and i were about to go and help it by setting it on the other side of the fence when a crowd of people who had seen it cross the street drove up. One woman got out of the car and proceeded to pick up the deer. "Just put it on the other side of the fence." We said several times as she held the squawking deer close to her chest and started to walk down the backside of the yards in our neighborhood. She carried the deer around for a twenty minutes or so before she finally came around to our backyard, upon which, the mother deer and the other baby were scared and ran away. "Leave the deer in the grass." I said. "The mom is here, she will be back." The woman wouldn't let it go, but sat in the backyard with the deer in her arms for almost two hours. The mother did not come back during this time. I'm not one to get upset too often, but my heart was pounding so fast. I was so upset. I wasn't necessarily mad at the woman, I imagined she felt heroic, or a little like Snow White (which everyone might deserve at least once in their life). I was upset at the lack of foresight and inability to see the consequences of such an action, however helpful she might have thought she was in the moment. Sometimes we just need to let things be. She finally left when someone went over and told her that if we had to call animal control, they would only be able to kill it. We saw her later in the bushes. I haven't the heart to inquire further about the situation, but we haven't seen any more deer in the backyard. I have so much more to say about this whole thing, and so much more I am trying to process. I would be interested to know your thoughts.

9 comments:

kersey said...

First off, the woman. How can she not realize the power of a mother? If that deer had come back, she would have been done for! What bothers me most about this story is the animal control. Anyone can shoot an innocent animal. How are they unable to re-locate the little guy? Instead they say the only thing they can do is shoot it!? That's messed up.

on a lighter note, I missed seeing you at Bijou Market, but it was nice to meet your sister!

shelly said...

I'm afraid if I shared my thoughts you'd be shocked, Ashley!!! I've been livid ever since Heather called me and gave me the play-by-play. I'm still really upset about the whole thing. I think, now that I'm an old lady, I would have given her a BIG piece of my mind...

ginni said...

Caleb wanted to hold Jurgen's gerbil this evening. I was afraid he was going to squash it in his inexperienced palms. Poor, innocent, little gerbil.

It's a combination of insight and experience that perhaps teaches us that it's best to leave animals and nature alone. But that at the same time it is sometimes inevitable that humans will inappropriately intervene.

I wonder then how The Big HF in the sky feels when we intervene like this with other peoples families (regardless of age)?

ginni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NEC said...

Wow... so this woman really needed to hold that baby dear. She would even take on stalker tendencies to make it happen.

NEC said...

Hold that baby deer. Hold that baby dear. Kind of interchangeable now that I think of it.

Little Lisa said...

This is appalling. Honestly, all the baby wanted was to be with its mom. Did the mom ever come back to get the kidnapped baby?

It enrages me that some humans abuse opportunities to "play God," and consequently disrupt the balance and rhythm of what is really supposed to be.

Bad form woman. Good thing I wasn't there.

Lindsey P said...

once I saw a similar thin where two baby deer were stuck on the opposite side of a fence. There were a lot of cars slowing down and some stopped to get a good look. Although the deer were super cute I was so mad that everyone was stressing them out so much. Finally the mom took a few steps back and jumped over the fence. I've never seen anything jump so high. People think that animals are dumb, but they are a lot better at survival than we are and rarely need assistance. Especially if they aren't injured. I hope that little baby found it's mom. My heart broke a little while reading your story.

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