First Fawn of the Season

Sunday, May 31, 2020

            The last day of May begins with the sun breaking through clouds and a cool breeze floating down the street.  We are looking for the doe we saw yesterday and her newborn fawn.  While walking Daisy, we suddenly spotted a mound of golden brown, covered with white spots lying still in the tall grass; our first fawn of the season, curled up in the middle of a neighbor’s lawn.  Swiftly backing away, we glanced around for the fawn’s mother who certainly could not be far away.  The doe came trotting up the road toward us, an anxious expression on her face that warned us to get away.  We sped up the pace and she leaped past us, steering us away, perhaps trying to get us to follow her.  Not wanting to stress her any further, we veered toward the opposite side of the street, giving the doe the chance to circle back to her fawn.  She flew back down the street away from her fawn as we walked away. 

            Daisy didn’t even notice the fawn, walking right past without lunging or even looking at it.  Like elk calves, deer fawns are born without scent and covered with spots to protect them from predators.  After dropping Daisy off we came back to get a photo, but kept a good distance away.  It seemed strange for a doe to leave her fawn in a site so close to the street; perhaps she left it there in the middle of the night.  When I drove by two hours later both the doe and fawn were gone. 

            We walked again last night, keeping our eyes open.  It was after 8 p.m., the light slowly fading.  Toward the end of the street in a small vacant lot next to a house, the doe grazed and standing next to her was her tiny fawn.  So tiny!  I never imagined it would be that small, about the height of my terrier – but not so chubby. 

            This morning the doe and fawn are gone, probably tucked away in a neighbor’s backyard.  Two young bucks bed behind fences in the woods, calm and content to be sheltered by the trees.  Later in the afternoon we zigzag through the neighborhood, enjoying the wildflowers and other flowers neighbors have planted.  I turn my head and there is a doe and a fawn standing in someone’s backyard.  At first the two appear like statues; they are so still we don’t believe what we are seeing is real, alive.  But the fawn steps away and they are real.   

Christine Baleshta