Our Mission: The Mattabeseck Audubon Society, a chapter of the National Audubon Society, is committed to environmental leadership and education for the benefit of the community and the earth's biodiversity.

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A Fawn’s Tale: How I was rescued from a predicament

I am older and wiser now and my vocabulary is so much better. But let’s begin at the beginning.
I was birthed in a wooded ravine needled with Eastern red cedar, Black-birch, Oak and Shadbush. A small brook that dried up in the heat of summer flowed past with the last of spring’s misty rainfalls. The Rue anemone and Hepatica had already bloomed and faded.

I emerged from the constrictions in a fountain of liquid and lay exhausted and confused in a pile of brown oak leaves. Flies immediately swarmed around my placenta, that The Mother assiduously lapped up. Then she proceeded to lick my sticky, wet face and flanks. I was soon cleansed and eager to be fed.

It took some time, but I wobbled to my tiny hooves. I was amazed at the spindly, slender legs, little realizing how much importance and distinction they would lend me later on.

Contented, having fed, I lay back down to rest. I began to lick my chest and noticed these wonderful spots, a coat that blended into the surroundings. And I later surmised that I had no scent, while The Mother smelled very distinctly and comforting. I could detect her presence even with my large brown eyes closed.
The Mother soon wandered off to feed. I was assumed to lie low, tuck my chin into my awkwardly folded legs and not move. And I was obedient.

drawing fawn

Thus followed days, weeks of a similar routine. But there came a time once, after The Mother had gone foraging, that I became curious of my surroundings. Gazing about, I stumbled to my knees and stood up. I felt like a god.

The day was fair, and all around me blue-green vegetation beckoned. I climbed a small hill and came to a clearing.

At first all was well and I became more confident. I stepped forward. Then I began to hear loud, disturbing noises: air rushed violently, followed by a series of pops, whizzes and grinding sounds. My bravado began to fade.

I wobbled forward again, unsure of myself. Unbeknownst to me, I had been born near a complex mosaic of industrialization in a place called the Maromas. Large stacks emitted something called exhaust or steam vapor. Things named machinery created the cacophony: moving objects that smelled and rolled about. Tall unfathomable colossals (buildings, I later understood) grunted and groaned within.

And all around milled these creatures I called “Two-legs.” They frightened me with their inexhaustible movement. They seemed rough and uncompromising; their work demanded that of them. But I was to find later that they were also gracious.

I proceeded ahead, for I had forgotten my way back to the ravine. I crossed some hard, black, smoothed-out material that made my hooves slip. I came up to the side of one of these colossals. There was a little space in front of an enormous ribbed wall (called by the “two-legs” a cell door). Trembling, I froze there not knowing what to do.

Soon a rolling machine stopped suddenly and a “two-legs” got out and stood before me. The warm sun, the azure-white sky, the warbling birds, the brook in my birth ravine; none of them mattered now. Fear and greyness loomed.

The “two-legs” put a hand on his head and took off a cap. Replacing it, he seemed to come to a decision. Approaching me gently, he took me in his arms and fondled me to his chest.

A shock passed through me. I lay still in the ”two-legs” grasp. My captor marched me around a corner and then entered one of the colossals calling to other “two-legs” as he did so.

They came out of the corners to gaze at me. I didn’t struggle. I gradually began to feel less tense, though not completely comfortable. What would become of me?

The “two-legs” talked excitedly and pointed. Some smiled knowingly. I dared to look around. The insides of the colossal were inscrutable. Huge, cold cylinders stood upright, and long round pipes and tubes inched above and along the walls. A sudden loud hiss of an air release from some compressor startled me. I couldn’t control myself; I soiled the shirt of the “two-legs” holding me.

Loud but not threatening noises came from the other “two-legs.” This was laughter. They seemed pleased with one another. Then having displayed me long enough the “two-legs” walked me outside and strolled towards a wooded area in back of the colossal. He placed me gently down next to a tree, stepped a distance away and waited.

Soon I heard a rustling in the understory. Tripping along, smelling and sensing, came The Mother, who found me lying there, far from the ravine where she had left me. If she was agitated she didn’t show it. The Mother simply sniffed me from head to hoof. “So, you’ve had your first encounter,” she may well have mused.

Then the sky returned to me in all its golden azure. And the future then was not as important to me as the present.