Friday, November 25, 2011

A Thanksgiving visitor

Ah, Thanksgiving morning. Time to make the mashed potatoes, our contribution to the holiday dinner. I settle the boys with some cartoons while they eat breakfast, giving myself a peaceful kitchen.

As I step to the sink to begin washing the potatoes, I look out the window and see a deer munching on some leaves.

6 point buck having breakfast
Now, our backyard is fenced. Three sides have 6' wooden fencing, but the back is just chain link. Deer have never jumped the fence - the pickings are too easy elsewhere.

In amazement, I walk to the dining room, raising the shades to get a better look. I startle him.

Isn't he beautiful?
He's a six-point buck. A blacktail deer? He watches me watch him, eventually deciding I'm not an immediate danger. I notice he is favoring his right hind leg, walking on three. He probably hurt it jumping the fence. Now why would he jump it? Was something chasing him?

There aren't many options when an injured deer is in your yard on Thanksgiving. Everything is closed. We don't want to call the police to take care of it. He can stay, at least for today. We'd rather not start the holiday with a bang.

He found a safe place.
I fear his leg is broken, but maybe it's just sprained. He seems to be ok other than that. He walks across the yard, finding a sheltered place to rest. We open the gate, giving him a way to leave when he's ready.

When we come home that night, he has moved to a new spot in the yard. He seems to like it here. 

He rests here, protected.
He's gone now. He was back in his favored place this morning. I tried to put some water out for him, thinking he might need some. I stayed well away, but still spooked him. He jumped the fence, still limping, and left. 

I hope he's ok. I hope he heals and lives a long life. At least we gave him a chance. And if he doesn't make it, he'll go back to nature, into the natural cycle of things.

But this Thanksgiving, we had a visitor.

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