I need to brag. I have very kind and compassionate children and I have much to learn from them. About a month ago my youngest and I were close to home, half-way across our island when she yelled, "STOP!" I slammed on the brakes and saw what had caught her eye. My daughter had spotted a fawn laying by the side of the road, injured.
Our little island is about five miles long and we often wonder why it hasn’t been re-named “Deer Island” since the population of deer continues to grow. I put the emergency blinkers on and we crossed the road to see what was going on with the little deer. It obviously had been hit by a passing car and left to die. Her eyes were open and she was still alive but was very hurt. We assumed she had internal injuries since was bleeding out of her mouth. She didn't make a sound, couldn't swallow water or move except for an occasional kick.
By this time my tender-hearted girl was spilling tears. We were tired and a bit emotional after being on a wonderful church retreat weekend up in Port Townsend where our theme was “restoration." This violent scene was not was we were expecting so close to home.
We were trying to decide what to do when finally a car stopped. A sweet Mom called 911 and we were told help would be on the way in a bit. Car after car drove by. A few slowed down to stare but most sped by. Shouldn't they have been even the least bit curious why we were petting a deer? Only one more car stopped to inquire if we needed assistance. A man cutting weeds nearby finally walked over. Apparently he sees deer get hit often because he showed zero emotion and asked us to leave because he didn’t want us to get hit by a car on his property.
We wondered how so many other people could drive by without helping. Not to mention where was the person who actually hit the Fawn with their car? (Do hit & runs not count if it’s a wild deer?) We seemed to be getting a first-hand lesson of the “Good Samaritan” parable from the bible... Sometimes when we see something that might require us to stop, do we? Do we walk/drive on by and assume it’s none of our business or that someone else will help? Do we slowly become desensitized and stop caring?
The emergency crew still hadn’t shown up, the sun was hot and I really needed to go to the bathroom, so I finally called my hubby to explain our predicament and see if he could come be of some assistance.
As my husband pulled up, so did another car. The man and my husband had a short conversation and then they came over to where we were crouched down trying to comfort the animal. The man was carrying a weapon in a case on his shoulder. Please note: I was NOT comfortable with this and quite shocked... (Although I am a meat-eater, I am not a fan of hunting. Although I am a conservative, I am not a fan of guns except on policemen.)
Long story short; the man with the gun (and two kids in his car) attempted to explain to my daughter that the deer wasn't going to live and that the wildlife people would administer euthanasia, my kind husband gently explained to our child that sometimes wounded wild animals can't be saved, we left (very sad), and the sweet deer's suffering was stopped...
I wonder what happened after we drove away since my husband saw the wildlife car pull up right after the deer was shot. Did the gun-carrying guy get in trouble? I wonder if her babies are surviving without her... I have a big heart for Mamas and their children.
I am no longer annoyed when I see deer. I remember the sight of my child trying to bring love and comfort to one of God's gentle creatures. I no longer want to use antlers in all of my decorating (like Gaston sings about in Beauty and the Beast.)
I desire to have the heart of my daughter and the good Samaritan. I want to have mercy even when it's inconvenient and hope to follow the words of Jesus:
“Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:37
Would you have stopped?
In His Grip, Jane