A baby deer is hung up on the rail, cried Gen Yeager as he rushed back inside.
I sure didn’t want to start my morning extricating a dead baby deer. As I followed General Yeager out, I wondered why he came to get me – he knows I’m quite sensitive…
As I thought about it, so is General Yeager. Some hunters, like Gen Yeager, are the most caring of animals. Gen Yeager will kill for meat and to eat. And since I occasionally eat meat, I’m on board.
As I braced myself for the sight…I was so relieved to see a live baby deer stuck in the railing. If it had gotten through, it had a 15’ drop – not sure its legs would have survived.
We approached it cautiously to not scare it or its mama. As the momma from below saw us approaching, she was racing back and forth agitated.
I spoke calmly, softly, in that higher pitched, babyish talk which animals and babies find soothing.
I pet the fawn’s derriere softly to show her I was safe as continue talking. As we surveyed the scene, I thought I’d need a ladder to get to her on the other side to push her back to the porch. I was concerned it was too heavy, concerned it may have lice, fleas, ticks, something else unhealthy.
General Yeager said: Be careful, she might thrash and hit you with her hooves.
As we both were hovering over her baby, momma ran back and forth snorting – she looked like she was considering coming up on the porch, trapping us. She could do some serious damage to us. She probably was worried everyone was judging her, protesting: I am a good mother! I left my baby in a safe place. She should have been safe. I only went in the grocery store (the field) to eat for just a minute!
I looked her straight in the eye and said calmly, same voice: It’s okay. We’ll get your baby freed.
She did stop snorting, kept alert, and seem to give a look like okay for now. And: Oh, you didn’t criticize my mothering.
I got a hold of the baby deer’s body just in front of the hind legs, picked her up – she was surprising light – I was thrilled I could manage – and pulled her partially back thru.
WAaaaaah! She screamed. Momma agitated. I calmly talked again. Everyone calmed down.
I was afraid if I let go, she’d struggle back forward rendering my effort useless.
She didn’t. She then did what I do when I’m scared. She stayed still. Or maybe she trusted me. Or decided to –since she didn’t have many options. Little thing. And her momma seemed to be watching and not agitated now. Just alert. So baby
I held her again further up her body and started to bring her back further.
I brought the baby back to her shoulders – but couldn’t get them thru. She stayed still again.
The baby realized she could stand and balance with most of her body unstuck. As I pondered how I was going to get her front legs back thru, she realized she could help – and squeezed her shoulders and head back out.
I sure wish I had held her a little and pet her more. She was sooooo cute. A little cute face. But I had in the back of my mind that some animals’ parents won’t touch their offspring if humans have touched them. Of course, I had touched the baby to help her – but it was minimal….
She walked off a few paces, stopped and waited. I didn’t want to scare her and her momma so didn’t approach her. Instead I said: Go to your momma.
She moved off a few more paces.
Go on to momma, I urged.
She walked off a little more. Then: Boing Boing (leap, leap). And she was off down the terraces to momma.
Momma stood while her baby caught up and stood next to her. She watched the baby and then me.
Then she nuzzled her baby. Was she very relieved?
They stayed there, not far from us for a while.
Eventually they moved off. Baby not leaving momma’s side for a second – staying within inches of her.
Momma stopped every few paces to look back at me. She looked alternatively just curious, then like I was an anomaly, or was she thanking me, or wondering what I would do next….or…
That evening I dropped a bag of rice and another of raisins for them. (Our freezer had quit so we had to get rid of a lot of food anyway).
I hoped they come back. This morning momma was by the rice and raisins. She calmly walked off after a while. Later she was nursing her baby – she wasn’t frightened off by us.
I still wish I had petted the baby deer.