Recovery on the Road

Fawn400x300It was a scene I never wanted to see as I drove through the urban park that Halloween night: the still form of a deer by the side of the road, a pickup truck parked just beyond, and a man kneeling bent over the prone body. I pulled over and walked up, asking “What happened?”

He was an older man with a troubled face; he introduced himself as Tony. “It’s a fawn – someone hit him and left him here,” he said. “He’s alive, I don’t feel any legs broken , but he seems to be in shock. I can’t tell if there are internal injuries or not.”

We briefly discussed strategy: my phone was almost out of juice, but I could still access my contact lists. I gave Tony my resources to call while I covered the baby with an emergency blanket and held my hands on his body, flowing Reiki. The minutes ticked by…one line went to voicemail, another rang endlessly. Tony was smoking a cigarette as he called, offering the smoke to the four directions in Native American tradition; recognizing the gesture with delight, I knew he’d been praying all along.

Another facility was closed. I was watching the baby: from being quite still, his eyelids were now fluttering and he was trying to lift his head. Rustling in the bushes across the street indicated the probable whereabouts of his family. I stroked his head, feeling the roughness of his fur under my hands, and shook my head in awe – to be able to sit here giving energy in such close communion with a wild animal!

Another facility closed, another voicemail. I thought of my sister, who worked closely with a wildlife rehab center, and gave her number to Tony; perhaps she could advise. While her phone rang, the fawn regained full consciousness; a car whizzed by and he began struggling frantically to get up. I held him, flowing the Reiki as strongly as I could and talking gently, and he relaxed.

My sister had picked up in the meantime, and Tony was telling the story. The baby, meanwhile, was trying again to rise – not in panic this time, thanks be. He stood up and looked straight at me for a moment, then gathered himself and leaped down the grassy slope on our side of the road. I looked at Tony; he smiled in relief and told my sister “It’s OK, he’s up and moving on his own.” They rang off and Tony said, “We’d better get out of sight so his family can join him.” We retreated behind the truck to get better acquainted in whispers and exchange phone numbers, seeing the dim shapes of deer crossing the street in the shadows ahead.

Several weeks later, I recognized “our” fawn walking with his family across a field in the park. I called Tony and let him know; he said he’d seen them also, a day before. All was well.

Thanks be.

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