One sunny morning early this spring, FD and I were having coffee on the back porch reflecting on our days raising Frosty the squirrel, Happy and Lucky the ducks, and various doves, all coming to us as orphans. Each spring and summer an opportunity arises to take on an orphan or two. And, each opportunity has presented a gift in our lives. Perhaps a better knowledge of a species, lessons in patience, diligence and unconditional love.
Something is discovered of ourselves as well. There is much satisfaction in raising a wild orphan, discovering their world and having an appreciation for their presence in our lives. Personal realizations abound. I have been humbled many times taking notice of the struggle of animals and birds to live and survive on their own at such a young age. I marvel at their resilience and instinct. I try to observe and ask myself… ask the universe, “What am I to learn from this experience?”
Of course at times raising wild animals and birds can be frustrating too. Sometimes it is difficult to incorporate their wild ways into our human world.
With resilience, they assert themselves, not yielding to us so much as to show us what it is they need. Each orphan let us know when it was time to move to the next phase. Sometimes it was accomplished quite stubbornly!
There are often disappointments as well. It had been many months since my failed attempt to save two sister squirrels who had been thrown from a tree in a storm. One had been badly injured. Neither of them would take in fluids and hours later died in my hands. I had not forgotten the heartache in failing to save them. Lost in my thoughts about that, FD pulled me away from my pondering and mentioned how he sure would love to have the experience of raising a deer. I reminded him he had said that about a squirrel once too, and he found Frosty shortly after that. With all of his upcoming business travel I was not too keen on raising another critter by myself. But, I agreed, raising a fawn would be a cool experience.
I have read that simply having a thought or desire could draw an experience to you. Obviously, FD has a knack for drawing from the universe. Low and behold not a couple of months later Daisy the fawn came into our lives. While elated, I also knew she would be another responsibility, another insertion into an already busy schedule. FD being gone a good bit left me doing a few man chores as well. With two gardens, harvest and preserving, constant watering seven days a week, along with household duties, I saw only work and chaos in front of me in the beginning.
Then, I looked at those big blue eyes (fawn eyes are steel blue), perky ears, long legs, big wet nose and promptly melted. I became the Mama. She has a special “mew” like a kitten that she vocalizes as she licks me, sucking my neck and arms. I proudly wear small hickeys all around my neck, just like I marveled at the “love” scratches Frosty the squirrel placed on me as he raced around my body playing “catch me if you can”. Not for a second would I trade the mystery and love I have found in this experience raising Daisy. Once again, it is she who is teaching me. Yet again, I am called to listen and observe while the universe presents another opportunity for growth.
The feeding schedule is a little bit easier now and Daisy is in her own pen with a portion of an old barn for a shelter. I hope to find more time to write posts again now that she is a little older and easier to care for. At some point, (maybe after the rut and hunting season) Daisy will be free to roam wild and all I will be left with is the worry that comes when we allow our children to set off on their own. It won’t be the first time I cried on the day of release, only to find joy in a quick return to visit a few days, hours or minutes later!
I have already suggested FD keep his thoughts to himself about what he wanted to raise in the future. Of course the first thing he blurted out was, “But it would be really cool to raise a fox kit or a baby raccoon”. Aaaaaggggh!
© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…