Naturally it was right after the big foot-and-a-half snowstorm that I first saw the lone baby deer struggling through the snow toward the house. It’s rare to see a deer alone here. Usually they’re in groups of four to a dozen, except for the occasional lone buck. But this baby was alone. And little; barely half-grown.
And sad. And lonely. And pathetic. And hungry.
So baby deer nibbled at one of my bushes and looked at a birdfeeder, then looked through the window at me and asked, “Mama?” I’m not your mama. I’m not going to feed you. I’m not. I’m not. I’m not. Two summers in a row of Lyme Disease, plus years of battling the damage those oversized rodents do to my garden and yard has completely quelled the “Ooooh, Bambi!” reaction when I see deer.
“Mama?” Argh! I held out until the second time I saw him–his name is “Dobby” now–nibbling at the snow beneath the birdfeeder, hoping for fragments dropped by the birds. Again Dobby looked me right in the eyes with that look. I put out an old apple for him, wading through two feet of snow by his bush wearing just my ‘jammies and slippers (no socks). I explained to him, again, that I wasn’t his mama and would not be feeding him. I stopped at the store that night and got some shelled corn for little Dobby.
Dobby didn’t make his appearance for a couple days, but there are a lot of deer tracks where I put the corn. I hope he got some. Or, better, that he’s now with the herd and some deer-person will take care of him this winter.
Update: Dobby has been back… alone. He always looks terribly sad. While he watched me dump corn out for him, I explained again that I still wasn’t his mama.