Epilogue: The Lost Fawn and the Broken Bird

Continued From: "I Don't Care to Laugh Today"

On Sunday, Donna and I partially exhumed the remains of the fawn that has touched us so. I sliced into the sealed bag containing the baby, allowing nature to continue its process unobstructed.

Minutes after burying the deer again, we were back inside our kitchen when Donna was surprised, looking through the window.

"There's a coyote coming down the driveway," she said. "His nose is in the air. He smells something."

I was amazed. Ten years we've lived in this forest and never seen a coyote nor received reports of any in the vicinity. Sure, we've heard them howling from distant locations, but why choose this hour to appear mere footsteps away from the doomed deer?

The animal vanished and I went to the computer. Research shows sobering statistics, including one study touting 70% of fawn fatalities are at the jaws of coyotes. Their favorite snack food treats, I'm guessing.

Our hunch, due to the seemingly surreal materialization in the yard, is a coyote destroyed the fawn. The neighbors suspect a dog and our veterinarian confirmed a heavy canine fancy for the newborns.

While I had the good doctor on the telephone, I inquired of the injured bird found alongside our cabin Saturday evening, probably as a result of flying into the very same window. We had protected and nursed the erratic cardinal to an improved condition, but, after two days, we transferred her care to the local animal hospital, for the little one was fading.

It was determined the patient had suffered a neurological trauma from which recovery was not possible. Mercy brought euthanasia.

I've been melancholy since the weekend. I both love and abhor nature. Why does it have to be so cruel? Obviously, it works, but so did the Edsel.

Writing to a niece earlier, I mentioned, "I was heartened this morning, first thing, to see a doe and smallish fawn strolling in the sunshine at the end of our driveway."

I released my grip of the cord to the blinds in the kitchen window and went into the day.
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