Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dash and Dart

A pregnant doe has been here by Squaw Creek, which borders our property. She had her fawns close to the garden two nights ago. Yesterday morning Mike found them hiding in the tall grass.
So small and still.

Curled up on a bed of warm rocks.

   I couldn't help myself, I petted this one as it played statue. So sweet. (Petting is discouraged, however mama will come back and lick the human scent off...)  Late in the day they wobbled around and moved up the hillside. No sign of mama. We worried and tried to stay away... Deer will leave young fawns for 12 hours or more. Unless they are obviously dehydrated, or injured it is best to leave them be.
   Towards twilight a deer came to the yard. The fawns approached and the deer kicked one of the fawns. He wandered off bleating and both babies hid in the tall grass. He cried for a while. But then...  mama showed up. She was bigger than the other deer, very healthy with a full udder. She laid her ears back, lowered her head, and attacked the mean deer, then stood with her ears up, listening, and here came the fawns, cautiously at first then pell mell to mama. Happy Reunion! They were so little that they could walk under mama's belly. Their little tails wagged as they got full tummies. She licked and nuzzled them, and listened for danger. Mr. Thimblepie and I watched from the bedroom window, transfixed.
   After about 20 minutes she started to walk up the hill and the babies wobbled behind her, stopping her for topping off every few feet.
   I walked to the front porch to see them walk up the hill toward the mahogany grove. Suddenly mama was running, being chased by a barking hound full bore. I hollered for Mr. Thimblepie, who hollered to our neighbor to call off his dog. Thankfully the hound had a shock collar on, because we heard the hound yelping as it ran back home. The babies laid down, and they were fine, safely hidden.
  During the night, under a nearly full moon, mama probably moved the babies up to the grove or down to the creek bottom. What a magical series of events.
   When I was a child, one of our favorite books was Dash and Dart by Mary and Conrad Buff.
Written in 1942.

Daddy read this book to us many times. 
   Living in the mountains where we can see wildlife... it is really a dream come true.