A few years ago while Jeanne was visiting me here a fawn was born under the cabin porch. She made a fun video of it and posted it somewhere, here, or on Facebook.
During the years since the deer have usually dropped a fawn or two somewhere within sight of the cabin. This year, though, there have been three within 30-40 yards. Maybe they feel safe because I’m not at war with them over chicken feed the way I was previous years. We’ve settled down to mostly ignoring one another with them going after apple cores I throw out, or one will occasionally come onto the porch to make a try for the cat food.
But the last doe to drop a fawn left it out in the meadow for a while and I noticed it lying out there. I wasn’t much concerned because a doe will do that, fawn stays until she returns, nobody any worse for the wear. But after a couple or three hours it was still there, so I walked out for a look.
Fawn was covered with fire ants. I stood a while deciding whether to try to brush them off but it’s a tough call. The fawn might run away where the doe couldn’t find it, or the smell of a human might keep the doe from recognizing the fawn when she returned.
But I’ve seen fire ants kill a fawn in similar situations, completely disappear it in 24 hours, not even leaving any hair, teeth or eyeballs.
I finally just decided to let it be and hope the doe would come back to lick off the ants.
Anyone thinks Mama Nature ain’t a cruel lady hasn’t been around her much.