I spoke to Marge Davis, a 94-year-old wildlife rehabilitator in Sonoma, California, I had met while researching deer for a feature story I wrote about this widely-debated issue of the deer kill in our town. I wanted to know more about the bond between does and fawns, as many of those bonds will be broken when the sharpshooters enter Griffy. Marge explained that fawns are with their mothers for nearly two years. During this time their mothers teach them how to find nutritious food and water sources and how to avoid predators.
These are some of the basic things human mothers teach their children.
When a doe dies, her fawns will stay by her body circling around as long as she is there. Likewise, Marge has seen does follow her truck for 100s of yards when she carries off an injured fawn.
While juvenile fawns in the Griffy area can survive the loss of their mothers, they will be at greater risk, as they won’t even yet be yearlings. We all have a finite amount of time to teach our children, and I ask, what is the lesson in this?
Colleen Wells writes from Bloomington, Indiana, where she lives with her husband and three children and their menagerie of pets. On her bucket list is to get a Celtic tattoo, visit Ireland, and earn a degree in environmental education. Her work has appeared in various publications including Adoptive Families Magazine, ORION, and The Potomac Review. Her first book, a memoir, was published by Wordpool Press in April 2015. It is titled, Dinner With Doppelgangers, a True Story of Madness and Recovery, and is about her experiences with bipolar disorder.