Yesterday morning, and again this morning, FD and I were awakened by the rumble of thunder and a downpour of rain. For the past two weeks, Oklahoma has seen more than its share of volatile weather. Tornadoes, hail, and flooding have wreaked havoc in most regions of the state. As another bolt of lightning flashed, I looked down from the bed and noticed poor Zoe, our smallest Japanese Chin, hoping for me to pick her up and tuck her into bed with me. Zoe has always feared storms and tonight she had herself worked up to the point of shaking uncontrollably and panting.
With my shivering little Zoe girl next to me, I lay awake trying to soothe her. I could not sleep anyway, because my other girl, Daisy deer, was on my mind too. For the past two days Daisy had been spending time across the fence at the neighbor’s place. She had been very aloof and secretive. Last evening she had come to the fence after some coaxing with water and a little feed, but she did not stay long. She had been resting a lot the past two days, her udder had doubled in size and was now hanging like a large pendulum, and I just knew she would soon have her first fawn.
When the alarm went off this morning and I got up to start FD’s breakfast and let the dogs out to do their business, it was light enough out that I could see across the fence. But there was no Daisy in sight. She was not where I had seen her last night. So, as soon as FD drove off to work, I walked up and down the fence, hoping to catch a glimpse of Daisy, wondering if she had delivered her fawn. Then another thunderstorm moved in, and I retreated to the house for the rest of the morning. Finally, just before lunch, I could wait no longer. I climbed over the neighbor’s chain-linked fence very carefully, with my camera and zoom lens in tow, and began my search.
Our neighbor’s yard is overgrown with trees and weeds. “A perfect place to hide a fawn”, I thought to myself, as I made my way back to the steep ledge area that drops down to the pecan orchard. Our side of the fence slopes gently down to the canyon below. But our neighbor’s side drops off sharply, down a craggy hill that leads into a woodland bottom, lush with young trees, weeds, wild honeysuckle and the dreaded poison ivy plant. I did not want to venture down there myself and, instead, hoped to find Daisy in a nice, grassy area, maybe hidden in the shade of the trees up top. I walked a little further, finding an open spot in the trees where I could check out an area near an old trailer that sat dilapidated and falling apart. Sure enough, there she was! I could hardly believe my eyes! There, in the dappled sunlight, Daisy lay with her fawn. I dared not move closer, lest I ruin the moment. I snapped three photographs, and then I backed off, speaking gently to Daisy about how beautiful she was and how proud I was of her. The fawn did not react.
As I walked away, I saw Daisy get up and move through the trees towards the fence. I walked in the open, paralleling her path and heading to the spot in the fence where I first climbed over. I hoped to make it back across the fence and further west to where I saw Daisy headed. Reaching the crossing, I hung my camera on the fence, then hiked my leg over as best I could, but in my haste, I caught the crotch of my camouflage pants on the sharp barbs atop the fence. Drat! Maneuvering my leg back over so I could lift my pants a bit to free them, I then caught my sock on the chain-link barbs. Deciding my pants were more valuable than my socks, I boosted myself over, using my hands to distribute my weight and, in a pommel horse maneuver, rocked my other leg over, but ripped a big hole in the sock on the other foot! My dismount would have rated terribly in a gymnastics performance, but I did not care! I was on a mission to see Daisy and her new fawn again!
I walked quickly down the fence to where I thought Daisy would be, and found her looking straight at me, nibbling away on cat brier. Then, I looked down and noticed the little fawn, coming up next to her on shaky legs. At this point, I reached down to my pants pocket to retrieve my cell phone so I could give FD the wonderful news about our new grand-deer. Just as I hit the call button to dial FD’s work number, I saw movement to the rear of Daisy and the fawn. My jaw dropped. My heart skipped a beat! There were TWO FAWNS!! Oh, my goodness! How could this be? First time does almost always deliver a single fawn. When I looked again though, I could only see one fawn. FD was on the phone by then and I told him what I saw, but then, did I really see two? I looked and looked again, but still only saw one fawn. Now I was beginning to second guess myself. Was I going crazy?
After getting my call, FD hurried home from work but, by the time he arrived home, Daisy had already moved back into the woods and could not be sighted. We walked on to the house and I downloaded my photographs so FD could at least see pictures of Daisy’s new fawn – or was it fawns? By now, I could not be sure. But, upon opening the very first image, I saw Daisy and, sure enough, her TWO fawns. The one on the left was so near her, I suppose it just blended in and I did not see it when I first happened on the little family.
I have felt every emotion imaginable today. All afternoon, I continued to walk the fence in hopes of seeing Daisy and her fawns. During the mid afternoon, I was able to watch her nurse one of the fawns. Later, I saw her resting alone in the grass, and then observed her feeding on woodland plants, with those little fawns tagging along behind. I thought about all of the little details, and all of the big steps that took place, for Daisy to be where she was at this moment. Each time I saw her lick her fawns as they nursed, bonding and imprinting on them… I could not help but to think of those first days, just two short years ago, when I became Daisy deer’s mother – and how I so loved my little fawn…
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