The deer was lying in the grass on the side of the road. I first saw it as I drove home from work. I could see no trauma or blood. The doe appeared restful as if she was in between laboring a fawn.
That evening, my son and I had to run an errand and I knew that we would be driving past that deer. Knowing he is sensitive to animals and realizing there was no way to avoid passing it, I decided to prepare him. Before I turned out of our subdivision, I said, "Son, there is a deer lying on the grass on the right hand side of the road. It was probably hit by a car while crossing.” He asked me if it was a buck or a doe. “Doe,” I said softly. He thought for a moment then wondered aloud. “I hope she wasn’t a mom.”
My son is not one of those boys who discovers something dead and then poke sticks at it. He isn't fascinated by watching a fly walk across an open, unblinking eye. He is definitely not like those boys in the movie "STAND BY ME." He is gentle and feels deep sadness for anything living that dies. Well, maybe he IS just a little like Gordie.
The next day, the deer still had not been removed. The vultures hadn’t discovered her either so she still looked like she was resting. The kids and I were heading out for a fun day downtown. As I turned on the main road, it occurred to me that I had not said anything to my daughter about the doe. But the children were talking and laughing so I hoped she would be distracted and never see it.
At that same moment of my thought, my son blurted out, “SISTER, LOOK!!!”
Honestly, a wave of sadness washed over me. I couldn't believe my tender-hearted son was going to make a spectacle of the poor deer and traumatize his younger sibling.
I turned my head toward him and then followed his pointed finger to the LEFT hand side of the road.
Sister was following his direction too and found she was looking at a thick row of trees and some houses hidden behind them. My son continued with urgency. “Do you see?!" He was finger tapped on the window. "They are building some houses behind those trees. Look! Do you see them!?” My daughter nodded but her face couldn't hide the confusion as to why this was important. We slipped past the deer on the right and she never saw her.
The boy relaxed and fell back into his seat. He stared straight ahead.
He looked older.
His little sister resumed her chattering next to him discussing what they would see and do. She was completely unaware of this small gift her brother had given her.
The deer was gone that afternoon.
Seeds to Share:
1 Peter 3:8 - Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 - As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.