A True Moss Whisper

MossydeerYesterday 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 glanced 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 had 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 neighborhood coyote crowd’s night 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 child used to call the beginning of nighttime. So we made a ‘human’ decision to bring her to the house to keep her safe for the night, thinking that something had possibly happened to her mother.

Fastforwarding to today, after letting the ‘little dear’ sleep with a hot water bottle in our giant 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 English 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 the idea of devoting next days toward nurturing Little Mossy until she was able to eat grass and fend on her own. Then it would be time to do what I had learned from one neighbor and gradually introduce her back into her wildlife setting. Where hopefully she would follow suit and get 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 behind him as he carried her back 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, the moment of connecting with such a tiny sweet deer…lasts forever! And the moment when I had tried to become its owner and hold on to that happiness moment, quickly turned to sadness. I was stepping beyond my domain,  expecting that I could make that joy last forever….so now, now I’m grateful for the whisper…and this moment of rain on the tin roof…Thank you little dear! Thank you for this mossy lesson!


  1. Wallace said,

    December 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Very descriptive article, I loved that a lot.

    Will there be a part 2?

  2. Ann Gordon said,

    January 8, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Hi Wallace!
    Thanks for your comment! This short bonding time with Mossy, the sweet little fawn was for a very short time. Sofar, I have not written a ‘part 2’ but perhaps I will someday! I will tell you that throughout the season after that we saw a mother deer with her growing fawn. I always held wishes in my heart that this was Mossy, but I don’t know for sure! Someday when I get a chance, I’ll add a ‘part 2’ that actually happened before ‘part 1’ that’s about a fawn that visited us a few years earlier! Thanks so much for your interest! Ann

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