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Oh Deer Heart

I saw a "pile of leaves" on the corner in the early morning, somewhere between 7 to 7:30 am. Thinking that it resembled a sleeping fawn, I watched it for several minutes, trying to determine exactly what I was viewing. 

It's an odd location for a doe to leave her fawn, out in the open and right beside a busy road. Even as the light grew brighter and the traffic began to pick up pace, it never moved a muscle. So I brushed it off as my vivid imagination, perhaps a little visual matrixing, and went about my day.

At 3:00 pm, as my daughter returned home from school, the "pile of leaves" stood up!

Together we watched from the window, as the animal stood motionless, for about ten minutes. At that point, I grabbed my camera and we ventured outside for a closer look. 

Although it occasionally looked around and took a step or two, for the most part it remained motionless, even as several cars sped past. Two cars even came down our street and stopped just a few feet away to gaze at her, and yet she stood solemnly in her spot.

We very slowly moved closer. She was aware of our presence, but didn't seem phased. She even seemed to doze off while standing. So we moved closer, and I took a brief video.

We had begun to believe that something was not quite right about this situation, My daughter moved in for a closer look. Very close.

Although there were no spots that a fawn would typically have, it was obviously a very young deer. My daughter is a bit small for her age, and the animal was still much smaller than her.

She was obviously disoriented, with a possible mark on her head and mucous coming from her nose. We discerned that the animal was either sick, or had been injured overnight on the adjacent road.

I immediately called our local sheriff and requested animal control. They did send a car, but by the time an officer had arrived the deer had slowly staggered off beyond some distant houses and we lost sight of her.

And yes, before you chastise me for allowing my daughter to take such a risk, the officer on the phone did just that, and we immediately moved away from the animal! I do not recommend that any one "ever ever ever EVER!!!" (to quote the officer) approach a wild deer.

About two hours after our experience, a neighbor (whose house the deer had wandered off to) reported finding the animal in her yard, barely able to stand. As I write this, authorities are being notified once again.

Before I end this post, I'd like to point out that just a few days ago we had taken our daughter to tour the state university, as she is looking into a future in veterinary care. Hmm... here's our sign.