Monday, September 3, 2012

Today's adventure with a fawn

My blog entry today should read:

I saw a beautiful young fawn today.  I stopped momentarily to gaze upon it with wonder, then continued on my path as the fawn bounded through the field to meet it's mother in the woods.

Unfortunately, that's not what happened.

We have a fenced-in area we call The Pecan Orchard.  While it has pecan trees, it is mostly a large field, and I take Roux there several times a day to chase birds and get his exercise.  This morning, I had already opened the gate and Roux was off running after birds . . . and I was outside the opened gate standing by the golf cart when I heard what sounded like a baby's cry.  I looked to my right and saw a beautiful young fawn bounding toward me.  I assume something else in the grassy field alarmed it, as we were too far away to cause a cry for it's mother.

I was contemplating taking a photo with my phone, but as the fawn got closer, I started to get alarmed as it took a hard turn into the fence.  I should have quickly left . . . but I didn't recover fast enough and the poor thing was so upset about the fence, it ran toward me instead of away . . . and ran right by me and directly into The Pecan Orchard.

This is a bad thing, as the gates are always closed unless we are working in the area or I am taking Roux for a run.  The fawn was running away from the only way out.

The fawn knew to go to the woods, but it was now inside the fence and couldn't get there.  It kept running into the fence and crying.  I immediately went into "mother mode" and had to do something.

I drove into The Pecan Orchard, trying to stay away from the fence, to get ahead of the fawn.  I had to go through a low area, which was full of mud and water thanks to Hurricane Isaac.  I got ahead of the fawn, and thought I could chase it back out the gate to safety.

It did turn around and start back, but it was still trying to get through the fence and was wearing itself out running into the fence.  Then Roux decided to come see what all the fuss was about . . . oh boy . . . he immediately went after the fawn.

I got out of the cart and started running toward the fawn, yelling at Roux to stop.  I lost a shoe in the mud, but I was able to get to them both and Roux did stop.  The fawn was in shock and had bloodied it's nose on the fence.  I picked it up and held it to my chest.  I've never held a fawn before and I have to say it was so awesome to hold that beautiful animal . . . but the circumstances certainly dampened the awe.

I am so proud of Roux for getting in the golf cart and sitting in the seat while I cradled the fawn and drove outside the fence.  That took a lot of restraint for him, but he did it.  If only he could have maintained that discipline . . .

I brought the fawn back to the grassy area outside the fence.  It was breathing hard, which I took as a good sign.  At least it was alive.  Looking back, I like to think being held against a warm body helped calm it a little.  I laid it in the grass and went back to the golf cart.  The fawn jumped up and started back for the woods, and that's when Roux lost his discipline.  He went after the fawn and knocked it down before I could stop him.  He knew I was mad when I approached him and he quickly assumed that submissive position on his back like he does when he's in trouble.  I dragged him away and we went back to close the gate . . . oh, and to find my shoe.

I handled it all rather calmly, except the yelling at Roux, but now my heart was pounding and my hands were a little shaky.  After giving Jeff all the details, which were confirmed by the mud all over me and in my hair, and the deer hair all over my shirt, he assured me how tough deer are and that the fawn was probably fine. I also knew from our state wildlife biologist (thank you, Johnny!) that it is better to leave the fawn because the mother does leave it at times and it is not abandoned, despite your instincts telling you to "save" it because it was abandoned.

Despite all assurances, I went back to the area about an hour later to check.  I am happy to say the fawn was not there . . . therefore, it had not died but made it to the woods and it's momma calmed it down, cleaned it up, found a safer place to hide, and all is well.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And next time I see one of those beautiful creatures bounding in a field, you can bet I will not stop for my own pleasure, but enjoy the glimpse and keep going so nature can do it's thing.