Thursday, February 19, 2009

Defying Death

Snowy and cold again so I thought I would tell you about a harrowing experience I had one November early afternoon last year. I was cleaning stalls, the farrier was to arrive within minutes and horses were grazing in the field with the barn cats happily exploring...typical day. Not! Coty began barking non-stop with Nugget and Little Bear barking as well. I looked up and saw nothing and thought it was just a deer or a squirrel. It didn't stop. Frustrated with interupting my work, I briskly walked up the barn drive to the edge of the yard, looked where he was looking, and saw a brown head bobbing in the little ground well fed by a spring half way up the hill!

I ran, and of course it felt like slow motion going up this hill! A young deer was drowning in the chilling water and its head was going under! Oh God it was Nub, Brownie's boy! I dropped to my knees and immediately got my hands under his 'arms' and tried lifting him out. He frantically tried to escape my foreign touch and even swam under the ground which I had no idea it was that wide since it had stones surrounding the edge making it look 4 ft square. I kept trying to lift him out. Too heavy. He was about 75 pounds then. I could get him about 1/2 way out but then he would slip back since his front hooves found no traction on the slippery stones. His loud calls of distress will be forever engrained in my memory. During this process I was screaming for help, screaming his name, screaming for God, and just frantic. Why isn't my farrier here yet? Why can't my good husband hear? Was I going to have to watch him drown? Was I going to get kicked into oblivion from a frightened and wild deer? Half my body was over the well; was I going to accidently fall in? I was given the gift of a wonderful thought...get those rocks out of the way so the dirt surrounds the edge, maybe that will help him with traction. So I quickly dug the rocks out, some splattered in the well, probably adding to Nub's fear. Then I tried again. I got him 1/2 way out. Same thing. Instead of continuing to pull, I told him to rest. So we did... for about 3 seconds. Both of us didn't move with my arms around him. Then I heaved, and his hooves found blessed traction and he got out. He ran to cover, unscathed, with no skin scrapes, and no limping. He stopped, shook his thick coat then trotted off. He was fine but I wasn't.

I could barely move. I was sobbing and shaking mostly from the adrenaline and some from the ice cold water. I walked back to the porch, stopping to give thanks to my wonderful dogs with weak pats. I noticed I was covered in mud, thoroughly soaked and had a hole in my pants resulting from bruising my knee. Funny, I felt none of that earlier. Needless to say, I was physcially and emotionally useless for the remainder of the day. Nub and Cocoa are the first fawns I have ever gotten close to and since Brownie is my favorite; my affections for these two babies run deep. We have since covered the well with a metal sheet since one of Big Girl's fawns drowned earlier in the summer and I was not around to help.

I often wonder where Brownie was, did she see this? Did she know? Did she hear his screams? Probably. Nub fed that evening as usual and all was well on the farm.


Kritter Keeper said...

such a great story and my blog was only a few days old!

Flat Creek Farm said...

Wow, that's incredible! Glad you both were okay. How scary to see this precious animal in trouble. So happy you were there to help, but whew, like I said before - glad you're okay! The hubs rescued a fawn that was caught in a fence a few years ago. I will never forget the sound of that pitiful cry we heard before finding him. Just heartwrenching. "Our" fawn was okay too. -Tammy

thecrazysheeplady said...