Friday, June 11, 2010

Dabbles of baby deer

Few things are as loveable - and as awkward - as a baby deer. I was privileged this afternoon to watch my first fawn of the year explore my back yard, seldom far from its mother - a fawn that just may have come into the world this very day. (Maybe my failure to close the gate in my fence leading to the street had been more prescient than lazy!)

The fawn was all legs and white spots and yearnings for its mother's milk. The legs were huge in relation to its tiny body, and it walked with all the grace of a staggering drunk. It carefully moved one wobbly step at a time, as if this whole walking thing was way new.

The fawn generally stayed very close to Mom, weaving unsteadily around her legs, milk on its mind. At one point, Mom obliged, standing still and spreading her back legs for better access. As her baby drank, the doe bent down and for about three minutes licked the fawn - hind legs, back, belly, backside, all the parts she could reach - as though she still was cleaning up after the birth.

Once, the little fawn appeared to follow some baby-prey instinct and hobbled its way to one of my overgrown bushes. It pushed inside, under the foliage. From my kitchen window, I only could see little dabbles of white - like little pinpoints of sunlight filtered through the leaves.

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