As the time draws near to leave our beloved house in the woods we are finding small moments to treasure and take with us. Saturday evening a doe and a rabbit were standing together on the edge of the driveway. We referred to them as Bambi and Thumper as we spent time watching them eat clover and leaves. They were very comfortable with each others presence. As the doe stepped forward on the driveway, the Old Guy spoke and she stopped and turned her gaze towards us in the house. It became a stare down between man and beast. Sad to say the animal won as we grew tired of standing so still and watching her.
The doe moved on and we did not see her for two days; then on Monday our son-in-law went into the woods behind the house to cut wood. He wasn’t there long before he sent a text with a picture of a beautiful small fawn. Matt had moved a branch and almost stepped on the tiny creature. It made no attempt to move and he determined that it was only a few hours old. Moving away so as not to disturb the young fawn he was startled by the swoosh of a partridge breaking from the floor of the woods. Looking closer he found a nest with a clutch of eggs in it. With all this young wildlife trying to survive in our woods the wood cutting was shut down for the day.
Our three-year old granddaughter was thrilled with this tiny animal and wanted so badly to cuddle and pet it. The adults explained to her that the mother would not be happy to have her baby smelling like humans and might leave it to die. She didn’t completely understand but we took pictures for her to take home and share with her older sisters.
The folks at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre advised to leave the fawn alone and that the doe should come back to take care of it. They said that it is not uncommon for the doe to leave her fawn for up to ten hours. We had been careful not to touch the baby. It was difficult to walk away and not be tempted to keep returning to the woods. Our concern was that the coyotes and wolves would be around at night.
During the night I kept listening for the sound of howling from the woods but it was thankfully quiet. I do swear that I did hear the little fawn calling ‘Mother, Mother’ but that could just be my imagination.
The Old Guy walked down to the woods in the morning and found that the fawn was no longer curled up in the leaves. There was no sign of carnage so we believe that it is safe to assume that the doe had returned and moved her baby away from the prying humans. I couldn’t restrain myself and ventured down to the woods in late afternoon to check on the eggs in the partridge nest. Walking softly along the path I attempted to be quiet and not disturb the bird but the partridge had better hearing than I did and flew up into the trees. Quickly I walked away to allow her to return to sit on the nest and keep her eggs warm.
We can only hope that the fawn has the opportunity to grow up and have a family of its own someday. We look forward to seeing little partridges in the woods before we move. That will be the memory we treasure and take with us to our new home.