Oh deer, my dear[-

Oh deer, my dear

A year ago, I woke up and peered into my backyard and saw a mother deer and what appeared to be her two newborns clustered behind my azalea bushes. The young ones were trying to stand but then they would collapse, their spindly legs unable to support them. By afternoon, they were walking.

The following day I looked for them but they were gone, which would have required them to leap over my picket fence.

Again this year I have a mom and 2 baby deer in my yard. The difference is that they have been here for more than 2 weeks. And now, I’m worried.

Each day the mother deer, though she grazes on my weeds, looks more and more bony. Her ribs are showing, the area around her hips is sumken and her face is gaunt, as though she has been starved in a concentration camp.

The spotted babies look so huggable and sometimes I talk to them in a high voice, the way I say to Casey, “Who’s such a goody-good boy?”

“Who are such goody-good deer?” I repeat a few times and, honestly, I perceive that they wag their little white Bambi tails.

"Goody-good deer"

"Goody-good deer"

I’m worried if I phone animal control that a big man will come and take the mom away, separating her from her babies, and that would be worse than anything.

I realize the deer ticks must be having a carnival back there, but I’m not too worried about that. Casey, who used to run in the backyard, has lost privileges because he rolls around in the deer droppings and eats things too gross to mention. Also he once got loose and chased a deer.

I’m afraid Mother deer will die in my yard. If Mama isn’t sick, why are they still here?

And I guess if she dies I’ll call animal control to cart her away. But as I write this I’m beginning to worry about disease and how I will know if she died; there is a considerable growth of weeds in which to hide and then die and decompose.

Just as I am about to publish this, my daughter (who is home for a few weeks before setting off to grad school) tells me she woke up to something that sounded like the wail of an animal dying. Is she imagining things based on my anxiety?

Will a deer carcass attract rats?

So far today, I have seen only the toddler deer.

I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

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