The sun was setting as I walked out on my front porch on June 2, 2008, to snip some basil. I was thinking about my recipe and bending over the basil, sharp scissors in hand, before my brain clicked.
I don't know who was more startled, but I do know who blinked. And it wasn't the fawn.
She was so small. See the 4" pots next to her? ------>
I ran back into the house, snapped a picture through the kitchen window and shut off all the lights. A doe hides her newborn in a thick stand of grass or a thicket, the safest place she can find, and then goes off to feed, not returning for perhaps a day.
I made dinner in the dark and we ate in the dark. I didn't want anything to discourage Mama from retrieving that baby. What would we do if the doe didn't come back? We couldn't abandon a baby. I pushed away a vision of a full-grown deer sleeping on my doormat.
When we blinked the porch light at midnight, the little one was gone.
Then last summer, a young doe brought her fawn to our gardens. Drank from our bird baths, ate birdseed from the rocks, made herself to home. Grand-fawn?
This summer, if I look out the window, any window, I'm likely to see a doe and twin fawns.
Or a pregnant doe, due any day now, noshing in the flowers. I suspect she's the one bedding down in the swath of Mexican Hat.
<-----See her belly?
I don't go out snipping herbs at sunset now. I don't want to know.
Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott ,for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.