Early May: the forget-me-nots are at their peak. As I wander in Cooper's Grove I come across a bare area in the dirt, about a yard on each side. I look closely and it appears that soil has been packed by deer hooves. A mystery...for a few moments. When I wander a bit farther I see a spotted fawn, slowly taking what must be among its first steps. When I approach, it hears me (it doesn't appear to see too well) and lays down, holding perfectly still.
I have heard that while they have spots fawns have no scent that attracts predators. Their mothers range for hours, foraging and then coming back to feed and tend to the young ones. While they are away the defense of the fawn is simply to hold very still, be very quiet, to sleep and wait. By the time their spots fade and their bodies are creating scent they are big enough to run and to have a fair chance against predators.
My friend Scott Davidson, an expert tracker and very skillful mentor and guide, told me he found two fawns by his sit spot. He wondered aloud, "How many people find fawns while their moms are away and assume they have been abandoned, and perhaps interfere?"
Amos Clifford, Guide and Restorative Council Mentor; trainer in restorative justice, restorative dialogue with nature, and circle-keeping and the way of council; mentor.