A Fawn’s First Encounter with That Strange Creature Called a Human

A week or so ago around dusk I looked out my patio door to see a deer wander by. This, in itself, wasn’t unusual because I live in the woods. Since the last of my dogs crossed the rainbow bridge, I have no pets to feel honor bound to bark away deer. I smiled in admiration of the doe’s sleek body. When her fawn emerged from the trees, I lost my composure.
“Ooh! Aah! Aww!” My adoration was too loud and not in keeping with the dignity a 72-year-old man. I stood and went to the glass door. “Ooh! Aah! Aww!”
The fawn was small, and its spots were bright white and sat with distinction on its tiny back. It jerked its little head and stared my way. The mother continued her grazing a few moments longer before she looked my way too. I’m sure a ridiculous grin spread across my face. I imagined the conversation going on between them.
Mama, what is that?
It’s a human, dear. Now eat your greens.
Didn’t you say we should be afraid of humans?
Well, there are dangerous humans and silly ones that we ignore.
How do you know this isn’t a dangerous one, Mama?
Dangerous humans have things called guns which they shoot at us. But they live in these big boxes with their children, and they don’t shoot their guns around children while they are playing.
I don’t understand.
I’ll explain it to you when you’re older. Eat your greens.
But that human is showing his teeth. Don’t animals show their teeth when they’re angry?
Humans are a different kind of animal. They show their teeth when they are happy. Don’t worry about it.
What if he tries to bite me?
He’s not going to bite you. If he wanted to hurt you he’d use his gun, and you can see he isn’t holding anything. Now eat your greens. Don’t you want to grow up big and strong like your father?
And he’s looking at me really strange. He’s creeping me out. I’m going to hide in the woods.

The fawn scampered away and disappeared among the scrub brush and trees. The doe stared at me. I’m sure she was furious because I kept her baby from eating his greens. She followed her offspring into the woods.
I was sorry my grinning kept the fawn from eating his greens. After all, I’m only human.

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