A Fawning Surprise

As a jewelry designer whose work is based on natural forms, I can’t resist telling about an incredible experience I had recently. This happened while I was enjoying one of my favorite pastimes, hiking with my dog Ella. Since I live in Maine there is no shortage of picturesque backroads and paths and some I can access just by walking from my home.

If you have ever been to the Village of Round Pond, Maine in the Town of Bristol, you no doubt have visited the quaint Granite Hall Store. A favorite of locals and visitors alike, this historic shop boasts penny candy, ice cream, toys, Maine themed housewares, prints, soaps and tasteful t-shirts. To the left of the store is the start of the Back Shore Road which as its name implies, runs along the shore.

I started my hike on the Back Shore and walked about 1 mile to the end of the road, enjoying the views and then traversed a beaten path to join up to a road on the other side. This area is pretty quiet so I usually let my dog off  the leash so she can enjoy the wide range of scents. I had almost reached the road on the other side when I heard Ella barking rhythmically. I called for her to come but with no success. Finally I backtracked and spotted her off in the woods, still barking. I really didn’t want to retrieve her for fear I would pick up ticks, but ultimately it was my only option. As I climbed over fallen trees and ducked under low branches I tried to see what she was barking at. When I got fairly close I thought it must be something low to the ground, perhaps a porcupine or a snake?  Then I looked down and there it was, a fawn! Perhaps it was injured laying so low in the brush? But then I saw its ear twitch and a slight eye movement. My gut told me it was alive and well. I grabbed Ella, put her on the leash and hauled her out of there.

When I got home the first thing I did was Google “Fawn Playing Dead” and gratefully up came a video that duplicated exactly what I had just experienced. It seems that not long after a deer is born, their mother will leave them 2-3 times per day. While away, a fawn will camouflage itself by laying down flat. There was a comment that they are too small to outrun a predator so this is their best option. Coming upon this fawn was a gift. I have been showing the photo around as if I was the proud grandma. AND now you get to see it and hear the story. Oh and by the way, I did not get any ticks. Thanks for reading!