Dear Mama Deer,
As a safety conscious mama, I want to have a few words with you about how you teach your little ones to get across traffic lanes. Although we live in a low-traveled area, I think you need to pay more attention to how your family gets across the street and how you train your fawn-babies to do that.
When I moved here from California, I remember hearing the clomp-clomp-clomp down my street for the first time. Expecting to see horses on my small town street, I ran to the window and gaped in surprise. There you were with your herd, crossing the road after coming up the ravine trails. Little did I realize how much you own this neighborhood! Since then, I am always amazed when you cross the street in single file. Slowing my car for a deer to cross the road means an inevitable halt as your brood wanders across the street one by one. My Minnesota friends warned me that the fall deer hunting season was the worst for car collisions with deer, understandably because your kind are skittish and on the run.
To your credit, you deer seem to look both ways with that twitchy neck movement that scouts out danger. I really haven’t seen the proverbial “deer in the headlights” look; usually I see jerky, swivel heads as your group crosses in front of my car. Kudos to you for teaching your fawn-babies to look both ways, but why start this procession when cars are coming?! Please give a thought to the size of your parade before scampering across the road, leaving your less-experienced little ones to follow right into oncoming traffic.
One day, heading down the big hill, I saw an animal lying in the middle of the road. The size of a medium dog, the animal appeared to have a long, crooked tail. After realizing that the animal was not going anywhere, I stopped my car and got out to take a look. Here was a sweet, spotted fawn-baby of yours, looking very frail and very young. I thought it was dead, until I approached and noticed the heaving of its chest. Backing off quickly, I got back in my car and thought of whom I could call. Cops? Humane society? Game warden? Then, as I picked up my phone, I saw the little one stretch up onto wobbly scrawny legs and lope off clumsily into the woods, presumably to where you were watching from.
Interesting how the Creator God had the whole situation under control. Perhaps that is how you handle things in the woods, letting your little ones get up on their own under the Creator’s watchful eye. (There is probably a great parenting lesson in there somewhere for me.) It just seemed to me that you were abdicating your motherly duty by leaving him stuck in the middle of the road. Would you please keep your birthing in the woods and far away from the road next time?!
And about my neighbor’s flower boxes . . . Yes, it was hilarious to drive down the street and see you and your kin eating the beautiful flowers right out of her living room bay window boxes, as if they were your personal feeding troughs. But would you please lay off her house decorations? At least start on the stuff in the yard first.
So please, keep your littlest ones out of the street, look both ways before you cross, and go easy on the flower boxes. I will do my best to drive safely and watch out for you.