The Peaceful Deer Was Panicked.

Because we live close to a small patch of woods, and there is nowhere else for them to go, deer live in my yard.

They wander the yard, eating grass and leaves, like the local rabbits do. In spite of the fact that this only happens because humans have taken over their once pristine land, it’s like a little slice of heaven for me to see them out there.

We are fortunate enough that we’ve seen several fawns born over the years, too. We have a little spotted one out there now, just born a month ago, who roams the yard with her mother.

Mother and daughter are often separated by a hundred feet or so, while one munches on a tree and another searches for clover in the open yard. I often think about that hundred feet, and wonder how the deer allows it when the fawn is so incredibly young.

There are predators – foxes, mostly, who don’t stand much of a chance – and people driving by in their deadly cars and trucks. When I was pregnant with Dylan, I was driving home from work one day and saw a tiny fawn dead on the side of the road. I cried for three weeks at the thought of the mother searching for her baby – or worse, finding him there, so young and helpless.

But yesterday was a different story.

Mom and baby were peacefully eating – mom in our front yard, and baby on the other side of the driveway, in the woods. We have a very long driveway. Suddenly, loud and large, a truck roared down the driveway – and the adult deer didn’t have time to check on her baby before it came.

The adult deer was stuck between my house and the truck. And she went crazy, jumping and running across the yard, scared by the noise and size of the vehicle. She looked like a bucking bronco on her way into a rodeo. She wanted to get away from the truck – but I think she also wanted to make sure her baby had gotten away from the “predator.”

And she couldn’t see the other side of the driveway.

The truck took its time turning around, heading down the driveway in reverse, then beeping slowly backwards as it went. It was long and too slow-moving for her liking. She couldn’t do anything except wait, and jump, and run back and forth.

So that’s what she did. The peaceful deer was panicked.

Finally, the truck went out of view – allowing the mother to leap over the driveway and search for her baby. Both were fine, since no one jumped directly into the truck’s path.

From my window, I could see clearly that everything would be okay.

But Mama Deer? She was losing a grip. She nearly put herself into an early grave, she was so terrified.

Where’s my baby? Is my baby okay?

While I watched the deer jumping around, I felt sad. I wanted her to relax and know that her baby was fine, down in the woods, eating leaves. I wanted to go out and pet her, calm her down, let her know it would be okay. But I knew she had to get through it on her own.

I wonder sometimes if that’s how God feels.

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