Yesterday evening when I was walking our dogs down at the creek, I sensed a ‘whisper’ in the mossy area that I call ‘my moss farm’. I glance back and there curled on the ground was the tiniest fawn I’d ever seen. This time of year I’ve often come across a tiny fawn curled at the roots of a tree on the edge of the meadow, but NEVER have I seen one so so small. She was perfectly still as fawn are supposed to be when they are discovered. Many hours later, Alex discovered that she was still there and looked not just still, but lifeless. It was beginning to get dark and she was ‘parked
‘ right on what I would map out as the night time coyote trail. Even though we knew that wild animals should be left for their mothers, I was convinced that this little one wouldn’t make it and if left there, would be ‘thrown to its predators’. My maternal instincts wouldn’t let me walk away when ‘the dark was coming’ as our firstborn used to call the beginning of nighttime.
Fastforwarding to today, after sleeping with a hot water bottle in our laundry tub, I began feeding her a bottle of ‘deer colostrum’ from a baby bottle. After a few swigs, she was up and wobbling, eager to get out of the little green tub. Not wanting to restrain her, I watched as she climbed out and all four legs slid sideways out from under her. Little Mossy, as I began to call her was then ready to go after the bottle again. I took her out to our covered pen in the woods where we used to keep our giant lop, Potato. She guzzled the rest of her bottle, almost climbed in my lap, ending up curling in her sweet little ball on the ground.
Little did I know that I was already quickly bonding with this little creature, and after checking with neighbors and studying more about fawn raising, I was content with devoted next days toward nurturing Little Mossy until she was able to eat grass and fend on her own, and then do what our neighbors had done, gradually introducing her back into her wildlife setting, and then getting adopted by the herd of deer that shares our two yards and gardens! I was content with a new ‘babe’ to nurture, until…until Alex came home with the resolute ‘right thing to do’. He, too, had researched and talked with wild animal savvy people, and strongly suggested we take it back down in the meadow, not feed it so that it would make sounds looking for it’s mother, and let it go.
I wasn’t ‘easy’ to bring around, not without flailing my own dear legs and ’emoting’ a bit. I cleaned up a whole area by the studio just to vent my frustration and to exercise my ‘NO’ for a bit before I came around to marching down into the meadow sadly to let her go.
I sat at the Fairie Hillock for a good while to ‘cry out’ my ‘no-ness’ and to get to the ‘yes’ of it all…Yes, what awesome moments of nature we’d experienced. Yes… what sweetness and beautiful creatureliness. Yes…how quickly this little fawn connected with us. Yes…how hard to let go of such tenderness, such precious life. Yes…it belongs to all of Nature. Yes…so do I…
And here’s ‘the moss whisper’ for me… I felt joy so briefly…joy that felt like ‘a first love’ when I fed this little wood nymph from a bottle. And in letting go, the sadness came just as quickly as the joy left! But the moment, in the moment…lasts forever! And the moment when I try to become its owner, turns to sadness when I expect the joy to last forever….so now, now I’m grateful for the whisper…and this moment of rain on the tin roof…