as we rounded the bend, going toward my driveway. At first I wasn't sure how big it was, its splayed legs leaning against the raised curb, its eyes silvery in the headlights, and I was afraid it might be Maxie.
But as we drew closer, we could tell that it was a fawn, about 6 months or so old, possibly the baby of the mama deer who has been roaming my land this spring and summer. She had two fawns with her the last time I saw her. Maybe next time she'd only have one.
We all sighed with regret as we turned into my driveway and I said goodbye to the folks I'd gone with to a meeting. I went inside and couldn't get the fawn out of my mind. I didn't know if it was dead--or injured and still alive. I wasn't completely sure it wasn't Max, as we had driven by rather quickly, though the image in my mind's eye was that of a small deer.
So after a few minutes, I took a flashlight and went back down the driveway to check on the small body alongside the road. I had no idea what I'd do if it was still alive, as I had no way to put it out of its pain, and it seemed heartless to just leave it there in misery to die alone.
But when I got there and shone my light on the body, about the size of a small Lab, there was no movement, no sound, only bright blood on the pavement and a slight warmth to the touch. I put my hand on the rough coat, still lightly freckled with fawn spots, and said I'm sorry, baby, I'm so sorry. And walked back up the driveway toward the phone to call the sheriff's dispatcher.
"There's a dead fawn on Bush Point Road."