An Unfortunate Fawn

Unfortunate Fawn


Seeing a large group of deer outside the picture window first thing in the morning wasn’t unusual. Our yard is a favorite location for chomping and munching. It does cause issues, though, when we release the hounds. Said “hounds” are two sweet-spirited rescue pups who fancy themselves mighty protectors of the premises. I knew the deer had to go before I let them out, or the pups could disappear into the woods wrongly thinking they’d have a chance to catch the fast, four-legged runners.

As I peered out the large window, all nine creatures froze, but not for long. Like a shot, they took off in different directions, scattering like middle schoolers at a basement party when the lights come on. Four of them were fawns, and as they all went in different directions, one little guy made the unfortunate judgment call to leap into the dog fence. It’s the dog fence not because it holds dogs but because it’s where we go to let the dogs take care of their business if you know what I mean. It keeps the rest of our yard from being full of their business, and it provides at least a little safety barrier from the surrounding acres of wild woods and animals.

But the safety barrier for the canines is anything but safe for the deer. Though the fence gate was open, the deer had chosen to leap over the fence directly beside the opening, and it soon became more than clear he did not know how to get out. Rather than leap over the fence on the other side, the spotted juvenile hurled his spindly legs into the fence wire, over and over and over, with unbearable crashing and thudding and hurling ensuing.

I put on my gear to run to the rescue.

Yellow terry bathrobe. Check!

Blue chicken boots. (Chicken boots because they are the designated boots to wear to the chicken coop and weather the mud and poop. They are never worn inside. This was for when we had chickens, which we don’t anymore. Because raccoons.) Check!

Large golf umbrella. (This was for herding the deer. That’s a thing, right?) Check!

I was ready.

So, at 7:45 a.m., dogs anxiously awaiting their morning freedom, I set out to assist the deer in finding his path to freedom. Opening both fence gates to assist him in his quest, I slowly paced around the outskirts of the fence, dodging “bombs” that lay waiting so as to gently coax him toward his escape.

I don’t know if panicked deer comprehend gentle, for all this poor creature could do was hurl, hurl, hurl. It was painful to watch, and I felt desperate for him. His path to freedom was clear to me, but he couldn’t see it. If you have much experience with deer, can you please tell me, do you find them to be smart? In my experience, they most definitely are not. But I wanted him to be, in this moment, at least smart enough to find the wide-open, gaping hole and head straight toward it.

The wretched thing must have been battered and bruised. I came around to the side farthest from the gate and slowly moved toward him so he would accidentally go near the escape hole, which he finally did, but not before ramming into the wire fence directly beside the opening at least four more times, finally running in the direction his peers had chosen in the first place. At last, freedom.

I continue to think about that poor animal, and I can’t help but think of my Father, watching and guiding me toward freedom despite my insistence on ramming repetitively into the traps around me, injuring myself, unable to make or even find the right path on my own. But He opened the door wide for me and showed me the way to freedom, and I am ever thankful.

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free.”

Galatians 5:1

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *