Bob Van Oosterhout

Encounter with a Fawn #2
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After making apple sauce, I dumped the apple peelings and cores at the edge of our meadow about 60 feet or so from the house, thinking they might be of interest to deer.

I was feeling sore and it looked like rain, so I figured it was a good time to use the spa just outside the door of our walk-out basement.  I settled into my usual starting spot in the northwest corner where I could recline and let the warm water dissolve my sore, tired muscles.

I glanced up and saw a lone fawn walking from the apple tree toward the pile I had just left.  I had seen her before, always alone, never part of the three groups of six to eight that regularly visited our yard.  I assumed her mother had been hit by a car or taken by a hunter and that she had not been incorporated into another family.

She was alone and isolated and seemed sad and lost.  I knew those feelings and reflected on what it must be like to stand on her hooves.  She was well developed and looked strong with a healthy coat.  That gave me hope and confidence that she would survive and maybe realize her deer potential.  Possibly she would benefit and learn from this experience, in the same way I had from difficult times in my life.

She munched on the peelings for a while and then turned at looked right at me.  I almost sensed a feeling of gratitude.  Not to me, but for the impulse that led me to drop the apple scraps where she would find them - for something that possibly is greater than both of us.

We maintained eye contact and she began to walk directly toward me.  After a few steps she started browsing on the tall grass while slowly walking forward, looking up into my eyes every once in a while. Her path eventually took her behind a bush in our south flower bed and out of my sight.

I took the opportunity to slowly move to the northeast corner of the spa and looked up to see that she was directly behind the bush, about thirty feet away.  She again caught my eye and began browsing on flower stalks. She walked through the bed and continued moving directly toward me until she was about 15 feet from where I sat.  Then she moved to the side of the spa and out of sight behind the cover.

Realizing I was hidden from her view, I moved to the Southeast corner and turned on those jets.  When I glanced to my left, she was standing about 10 feet away not far from the edge of the spa.  I turned to face her as we maintained eye contact. It felt like we had a silent conversation.  I assured her that she could survive these times and become a wise and caring mother.

She walked behind me and I relaxed in the spa for a few minutes.  I didn’t see her when I turned around and assumed she had walked off.  I moved to the west side of the spa to stretch and saw her in the west garden bed about 25 feet away.  She was staring at the wind gauge and when it turned to catch a change of direction, she jumped up, spun in mid-air and slowly walked away.  I got up and went inside.

I had no idea of the time sequence.  I couldn’t guess the amount of time the fawn spent at each location or how long we held eye contact.  It all seemed to happen within a few minutes.  When I glanced at the clock, I realized we had spent an hour and ten minutes together.