Death Came a Knockin’

Our back yard is a glorious landscape of native wildflowers, most of which were planted by Nature Boy. We also back up to a usually dry creek bed, so the view from our deck looks like this:

Yard

The combination of the wildflowers, woods and creek makes it a wonderful place for wildlife of all kind. We’ve seen groundhogs, foxes, coyotes, deer, raccoons, owls, hawks, tons of songbirds and other stuff I can’t remember right now.

A couple of weeks ago we had a visit from a mama deer and her two newborn fawns. It’s so adorable to see the little ones with their cute Bambi spots!  We saw the family a few times over the course of a few weeks, but then one day we noticed that the fawns were by themselves. We worried that their mama had died, leaving her orphaned babies to fend for themselves. Thankfully we noticed that the fawns were nibbling grass and what-not from the yard. At least they learned how to feed themselves before mama disappeared.

One day, the two fawns were sitting up in the common ground behind our neighbor’s house. I was determined to try and get up close and personal with them. So, armed with pretzel sticks to lure them with, I slowly approached.

Look little fawns, I have pretzels! Come, let's be friends!

Look little fawns, I have pretzels! Come, let's be friends!

Of course, as I got closer and closer they eventually bolted, off to mesmerize other suspecting neighbors with their cuteness. So much for me being The Deer Whisperer.

But then came The Smell. The unmistakable smell of death. As soon as we stepped outside we could smell it, and it was so pervasive that the whole cul-de-sac was heavy with the stench.

Nature Boy and I decided to investigate. We figured that something was probably dead in the creek bed. We donned our long pants and bug spray and made our way through the high wildflowers of our yard to the creek. I felt like the boys in Stand By Me, going to see a dead body (but we didn’t sing or tell ghost stories or anything fun like that). We trekked one way down the creek and back the other, but didn’t find anything. But we’d occasionally get a whiff of The Smell, and it seemed to be concentrated right around our house.

We climbed back up into the thick of our yard, and as soon as we got up to ground level, The Smell told us that we were very close. After only a few minutes we found her — Mama Deer. We got very close and were surprisingly unfazed by the sight. Very sad, but not disgusted. I won’t go into gory details, but suffice it to say she was in and advanced state of decomposition. We tried to surmise what had happened to her, but her body gave up no clues.

We didn’t know what to do, so we just headed inside and showered all the chiggers off. I got in touch with animal control and the department of conservation, but no one would come out and remove her body. So we’re just planning on letting nature take its course, unless the neighbors complain too much, and then we’ll bury her. Nature Boy said that by winter we’d have a nice clean skull for the boys.  Gross.

Rest in peace, Mama Deer. We’ll keep an eye on your babies.

That was a nice, happy story for a Monday, right? God, what is wrong with me?

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24 Comments

  1. Mother of The Luke
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Sad – poor babies. 😦
    Your back yard looks exactly like the backyard I imagined Nature Boy would have. And I’m sure you have a painting or two of it.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted July 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      I know, poor babies and poor mama.

      Actually we don’t have any paintings of it! At least none that I know of 🙂

  2. Honeybee
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    You are good people! Your story is honest, real, and shows your feeling for nature and love of animals. No, no really! You are NOT twisted!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted July 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Awww, thanks 🙂 Could you make my husband like cats???

      • Honeybee
        Posted July 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Only if you make mine like ’em. They love so much of nature; seems like they’d see the beauty in our little 4-leggeds.

  3. Posted July 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    aww, poor dear (yes, that was on purpose). I just had flashbacks of watching Bambi for the first time. At least this one wasn’t shot to death by a hunter???
    Hope the little bambi deer are ok in the end. Its so nice to be that close to all that nature. Living in the city, I miss nature.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted July 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      I hope it wasn’t shot to death! Actually, last night I was hearing these boom sounds, that sounded kind of like guns, and I thought a sniper might have me in his sights. So I crouched down really low on the couch so I could still watch TV and not die. Totally true story.

    • Posted July 28, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, a deer in the city isn’t a good thing. Last one in Boston got hit, but he made the nightly news first.

      • justmeandthevoices
        Posted July 29, 2009 at 7:08 am | Permalink

        Awww, how sad!!!

  4. Daddy O'Grape
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Pretzel sticks????

    “Let’s see, what to entice the fawns with? How about lettuce?–nah, too close to grass. Maybe corn?–only kind I have is frozen, so maybe not. Carrots?–well, it’s a possibility… Wait, I know, I’ll bet these fawns like sitting around the bar with a brewski watching NASCAR, so they would probably really like pretzel sticks!”

    JMATV, you’ve surpassed yourself on this one!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted July 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Nature Boy felt the same way about the pretzel sticks! But my reasoning was that deer like those salt licks, and pretzels are salty. See? Rational thinking at its best.

      WTF does JMATV mean?

      • Posted July 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Just Me And The Voices 🙂

        I thought I’d respond even though it wasn’t me who said JMATV… I like riddles

      • justmeandthevoices
        Posted July 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Wow. That was a total blonde moment on my part! Thanks for helping a poor dumb blonde.

        Sent from my iPhone

  5. Posted July 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m wondering what happened to her, too. I liked the post, because it’s kind of hopeful – these two youngsters living on.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted July 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Thanks! I hope the fawns keep visiting us. I’d like to know that they’re OK. 🙂

  6. Daddy O'Grape
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Oh, darn! Somebody beat me to the explanation of JMATV!

  7. Posted July 27, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I, too, would have thought baby deer like pretzels. Who knew?

    I hope they’re old enough to fend for themselves and that the loss of their mama won’t be the end of them, too.

    Thanks for stopping by my place and leaving a comment : )

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted July 28, 2009 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      THANK YOU! See, Dad??? There are others who think like me. I think they will be fine, they didn’t look malnourished at all, and were having a grand ol’ time just hanging out in the yard, eating grass, etc. I love your blog! It’s on my reader, so I’m a devoted fan! 😉

  8. Posted July 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    I loved this post! Are you on Facebook? If so, let me know, there are pics on my page of the time a deer came into our front yard and ate right out of my son’s hand, and also tried to walk into my house. It was crazy!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted July 28, 2009 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      WOW! I must see the deer pics! I’ll email you my super secret FB identity 😉


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