The doe washed her baby's spotted coat with her rough tongue until he
was clean and warm. In a short time, he could stand up and take his first drink of his
mother's milk. When his stomach was full and round, the fawn curled himself in a ball,
closed his eyes, and fell sound asleep. Just before sky began to lighten, the doe left her
baby and went back to the nearby hill. During the daylight hours, the mother deer would
browse on the golden grass. She would doze in the warm sun. She would not return to her
fawn until dark. Until he heard his mother call, the fawn would not move or make a sound.
He would stay curled and quiet. This may seem strange to us, but it is the way of the deer
A woman was on her way to work. She drove into the parking garage and
parked. She got out of her car and walked toward the street. The woman stopped and stared
in surprise. In a little nook, close to the opening, she saw the baby fawn. In the grass
or bushes, he would have been invisible. But his golden coat with white spots stood out
against the gray concrete. The little buck didnt move or make a sound. The woman
knew the fawn was not in a safe place. Why did his mother leave him there, she wondered.
Soon there would be many cars and people coming and going and the baby deer would be very
She remembered that there was a place in town where people took care of
wild animals who were hurt or lost. The wildlife center will help him, she thought, and
went to call them. All this time, the little fawn held very still and didnt make any
noise. He was frightened and wanted to call for his mother but he kept quiet. He opened
his soft dark eyes just a bit so that he could see. The little buck watched the woman in
the red dress and noisy shoes go away.
In a little while, the woman in red returned with another woman. The
second woman was dressed in the color of his mother's coat. Her voice was soft and her
shoes were quiet. She carried a big square box in one hand and a large green towel in the
other. The woman walked slowly toward the frightened fawn. She talked to him softly,
telling him not to be afraid. The new-born fawn didn't understand her words, but her voice
made him feel a little better. The towel dropped over his curled body. Suddenly it was
dark. The baby deer felt hands bundle him in the cloth and gently pick him up. He was
scared and let out a cry. He just couldn't help it. The wildlife caretaker put the fawn in
the carrier and set it in her car. The fawn lay quiet and still. He felt himself moving
and heard strange noises all around him. He could smell a lot of different smells. He was
very frightened. When his mother came to look for him, he would be gone.
After what seemed like a long time, the fawn felt his box being lifted.
He was set down and the box was opened. He looked out and discovered that his box was
inside a bigger box. The walls were shiny and the floor was covered with something soft.
Underneath it was a pad which was warm, like his mother's body. Daylight and fresh air
came into the box through bars in the ceiling. The young fawn could smell a lot of
different animals nearby, but none of them smelled like his mother. He was still
frightened but he was very tired. Curled on the warm blanket, the baby deer fell asleep.
The little buck awoke, his heart thumping. One of the walls of the cage
was open. The woman with the gentle hands reached in and put him back in the smaller box.
Once more, he felt himself picked up and carried. Again he heard the sounds of the car and
the street. His box was lifted and set down. The box was opened and careful hands took him
from the carrier. He felt his tiny hooves touch the ground. Wobbling on his slender legs,
the fawn looked around. He had been here before! This was the very spot where his mother
left him. The baby buck could smell his mother's scent all around him. His heart filled
with hope. She would come for him! Quickly he lay down and curled into a gold-and-white
ball. In the now-deserted garage, the volunteer from the wildlife center hid in her car.
She watched the tiny fawn. Daylight turned to dusk.
Suddenly, a sound like a whistle came from outside and the fawn raised
his head. The woman looked and saw the doe standing a few feet away. The doe called again.
All fear left the little fawn. His heart was full of joy. His mother had come back for
him! He stood up and went to her as fast as his unsteady little legs would go. His mother
bent her head and touched him with her black velvet nose. The female mule deer smelled
strange odors on the fawn, but his smell was familiar. This was her baby! She licked his
head gently, and then nudged him. The fawn understood and quickly began to nurse. Oh, how
wonderful to have a tummy full of warm milk, he sighed. Already the little fawns
legs felt stronger and didnt wobble quite so much. When his mother turned and walked
toward the trees, he trotted happily behind her.
From her car, the wildlife volunteer watched with a happy heart as the
doe and her fawn faded into the shadow of the trees. She knew that soon the mother and
baby would be on the hillside, lying in the golden grass. Together.