She came so unexpectedly on a day that I really did need her. I had woken up in a bad mood and was reeling from all the emotions. Emotions that were saying, “You have a reason to be in a bad mood,” which were in direct conflict with the ones that said, “You aren’t benefiting anyone, including yourself, by being in this bad mood.” I was beating myself up for the mood, yet wanting to wallow in it at the same time.
And then this little fawn showed up and stole my heart.
The girls and I were starting to climb into the car, when I heard a very unfamiliar “meh!” sort of sound. I looked up to see a baby deer. Running toward me.
My first instinct was to get my children loaded in the car as soon as possible. Where was the momma? What about a daddy? They certainly wouldn’t be happy with their little one being so close to strangers!
But no other creatures were in sight. In fact, this little one acted like she was quite familiar with humans. She nuzzled our hands as though expecting us to give her some food. She wandered around our yard and let my two and four year old children pet and hug her. She was not one bit afraid or concerned by our presence or the excited squeals of my girls. I had never seen a deer act this way before, so I took a quick video on my phone to document it. The whole scenario was surreal!
Eventually, she wandered off into the woods, and we proceeded with our day. I was elated. I couldn’t believe that I had been able to pet a deer, and such a sweet one at that! That bad mood from earlier was quickly disintegrating as I relished in the love of my Savior. On a day when I deserved to be scolded, He sent me a gift that few get to experience.
He kept sending that gift too. She came again a few days later, and then again, and again. One of my girls named her “Loulee” and the name stuck. I tried so hard to determine her patterns of when she would stop by, but it was always so random. Sometimes it was early in the morning, sometimes middle of the day, and a few times late in the evening. But whenever she saw us, she would run straight to us for some carrots and a neck rub.
I suspected we were not the only ones she would visit, and my suspicions were soon realized. I spoke with a few neighbors who also had the opportunity to interact with the fawn, and she even came with a collar on her neck a few times! (The collar was eventually removed by a neighbor who was concerned she would get caught and choke.) She certainly knew how to be friendly with people!
At one point, she was visiting almost twice a day. I did more research on fawns and even spoke to a wildlife rehabilitator. Everyone believed she was orphaned. I learned that the best thing for this little girl was to stop feeding her so that she would be more likely to join a herd of deer in the wild.
Can I just say, that the last thing you want to hear when you have let a fawn into your heart, is that the best thing is to leave her alone? I was crushed at the thought, and even planned to keep spoiling her with carrots.
Strangely enough, about the same time, her visits started to become a little less frequent. Every day became every other day, and then every few days. Sometimes, I would start to worry about her safety, and then she would just show up out of the blue. It was always such a relief to see her again!
Sadly, it has been about two weeks since we have spotted our Loulee deer. I believe it is because she has been adopted by a new deer family, which is ultimately the best thing for her. We will treasure these moments for many years to come!
“A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God. I’m thirsty for God-alive.” (Psalm 42:1-2; The Message)