It was in the pre-dawn hours this morning while driving to work a baby deer bolted in front of my car. It wasn’t even big enough to make the car shutter as it threw off the small animal like a dog with rain water. I had no time to react, to hit my breaks or to even swerve, which would have put an abrupt end to my day. I pulled over about 100 yards away from the impact and as the morning began to shimmer in the sky I could see the dark body of the fawn on the side of the road. It was too dark to see if it was breathing and it wasn’t cold enough to see the steam from it’s breath. I wanted to believe it was okay and at the same time I wanted to believe it’s death was swift and painless. How those two diametrically opposed outcomes could rest peacefully in my mind still boggles. I couldn’t go to it because I didn’t want to know. It was cowardly, it was inhumane. If it was in agony I didn’t have any means to end it’s suffering, I couldn’t do it for Dotty, a creature I loved, I couldn’t pick up a rock and bash in the brains of a terrified animal to ‘help’.
Many images and thoughts have come from this experience unbidden and not totally unwanted.
- It’s warning of jumping too soon into my plans for resolution with my sisters.
- There is the guilt of thinking it was following it’s mother across the road and it was too intent to be with her it didn’t hesitate.
- Anger at the house which allows the deers to graze in their yard so close to the busy road. It’s not a kindness befriending wild animals.
- Shouldn’t I feel something more than just casual remorse for the loss of life. I’m too numb.
- There should be a company you can call where someone quickly comes out, slaughters the venison and distributes it to the poor and hungry before the body starts to break down and spoil the meat.
- What am I suppose to learn from this? Why did a baby deer have to die in order for me to learn whatever the lesson is? And how many more animals will need to be sacrificed before I learn it?
- How completely blessed I am because it could have been so much worse.
On my drive home from work I didn’t see the body. I’m clinging to the hope I just stunned the little tyke and it’s with it’s mother being suckled back to health.