As I grow older my love for animals and wildlife matures. My respect is heartfelt and carries immense emotion. Whenever I see a hit deer by the road I wonder if it has relatives nearby. Seeing abused or hurt animals on television or in the media, chokes my throat and a profound sadness hovers over me.
Two summers ago, one early morning, Tom and I watched a graceful doe eating the brush from the raspberry bushes just a few feet away from our living room window. Do you know those silent, peaceful moments when your world is a framed scene and nothing can penetrate it….words or actions, just the view? We watched this doe for a few minutes as it chewed away without interruption.
The next day I was puttering in my flower gardens, which lined the front of our yard. From where I was perched, one could see my neighbor’s farm across the way. Rich green fields surround the farmhouse(which has been in his family for generations) and a dirt driveway stretches up the hill, leading to the farmhouse and a sprawling red barn is in the rear. My neighbor, his son and grandson, and a few other people stood aimlessly around the stalled tractor on the edge of the field. As I watched commotion gathering on the edge of the field, I wondered what was hiding or found that was causing all this fuss. The mid day sun beat harshly down on us, a steamy blazing day, a day farmers relish because it’s hay making time and that means their livelihood. Suddenly the son, who tirelessly works on the farm with his dad, lifted something out of the grass. Oh no! I knew what it was but was apprehensive to really believe it! Was this really happening? A light hazelnut colored lump lay in his arms while his son stood in shock, for he was the driver. It was a fawn, who had been hiding in the grass per order of its mamma.
If you live on a farm or are exposed to the culture, you know there is always a chance of this happening. One never knows if something is masked within the tall foliage and there’s not a sound as the loud obnoxious tractor plows through. Neighboring farmers will share their stories amongst themselves on their porches, “We had one this year, had a couple last summer, a yut.” The brave son gently laid the fawn in a wagon to bring to the barn. I don’t know what they did with its little body but I know it must have been difficult to dispose of it in morbid silence.
As the day wore on, I said a little prayer for that living thing and for my neighbor’s young grandson. They were both in the wrong place at the wrong time and it couldn’t be helped. As I was pondering what occurred and talked about it to my husband, I remembered that lone doe from two days ago. Little did I know that she was an important piece of the story.
The next day the tractor was long gone, cutting in another field. The farmer, his son and grandson had probably discussed this enough or maybe they dealt with it in silence. All there was to do was to move on. Once again I pulled endless weeds peeking out of my gardens and spotted our doe friend looking frantic and lost. She paced back and forth on that edge of the field, tirelessly trying to find what she lost. Her baby! It’s scent lingered and she smelled desperately with immense anguish. Any mamma would do the same. The beautiful doe came back everyday for four days. She just wasn’t ready to believe that the fawn was gone. Then one day she didn’t come. It was time for her to carry on, maybe not forget, but live without her love. This poignant scene of nature hung over me all week. I couldn’t shake the terrible feeling, that I knew how that mamma doe felt. Being a mamma myself, that frantic bitter loss would be life changing. I know she probably had another fawn the next year, but it doesn’t change what happened.
I haven’t told this story to many people. Some stories are better kept locked away and told one day, when it’s not so upsetting. Our framed in moment was special and will always stay with me, but I long to forget the painful, turbulent days after.
All my best,
Heart and Soul ❤️