This little story has a happy ending.
Last Saturday evening, Patrick headed out our front door for a quick trip to the grocery store. He was returning to San Luis Obispo the next day, and wanted to pick up a few staples while at home. Typical college-guy favorites that disappear fast, peanut butter, ketchup, power bars, a few of those things. And because Michael was out with friends, our plan was to grab some sushi and meet Patrick back at home for a casual dinner. We headed to the restaurant to pick up the food, while he went shopping.
Only, when we returned, he still wasn’t home. We set the food in the kitchen and expected him to walk in the door at any moment. But he didn’t arrive. Instead, the phone rang sometime later and Mr. Moss answered.
It was Patrick. I heard his Dad quietly ask into the phone, “Ok. Is there anything I can do to help?” And seconds later, he hung up. Evidently, before Patrick could make it to the grocery store, he had spotted an injured fawn on the side of the street. It was young, maybe seven months old and it had been hit by a car. The driver never stopped.
Amazingly, the fawn appeared to be in stable condition, although it was clearly in shock.
Patrick had called to let us know that he was still waiting--along with several other kind folks--for the owner of Kindred Spirits, a Fawn Rescue organization to show up and tend to this newly orphaned deer. The woman was on her way, however it would be a 30 minute drive from her home.
Yes, it turns out that there are angels among us, volunteers and trained veterinarians who nurture, feed, and medically care for these fragile, orphaned fawns who are left alone in the world due to human interference. Only, I learned that fawns are delicate creatures, and they require a special diet for survival, so that the average animal lover cannot care for them despite their best intentions.
I never knew about Kindred Spirits, but it’s a non-profit, volunteer based organization dedicated to answering over 800 calls each season by people who stop to help, and don’t know what to do next. It’s an organization led by someone who would travel 30 minutes at the drop of a hat, on a weekend night to pick up an injured, scared fawn.
I’m in awe of the sheer kindness of somebody like that.
Don’t you need to hear a story like this? Because every day we hear the other ones; ugly stories about people hurting other people, and it’s easy to forget those quiet acts of compassion that are happening all around us, by normal people, like you and me.
It’s the type of kindness that emerges suddenly on a suburban street and is transformed into action when onlookers stop just “looking,” and pull their cars off the road when they see a vulnerable animal all alone and bleeding.
It’s the type of kindness exemplified by people who refuse to leave the scene until a rescue plan is arranged.
And it is the kind of compassion that we see in the trained volunteers who will respond to a sick, or injured animal with tender treatments.
Personally, I was touched, that on Saturday night during spring break, my busy nineteen year old would suddenly skip his favorite dinner and wait patiently on the side of a dark street with an assortment of strangers, in order to take care of an injured animal.
Somehow it feels reassuring to know that compassion is such a quiet, steady force in the world, and that there are people who will halt their own lives for a brief time. Because they care.
I think we’ve all experienced that one moment, when we think about pulling over to help. I know I have. Sometimes we might hesitate and the opportunity quickly passes. And thankfully other times, we take action, step up, and extend ourselves—and we’re immediately rewarded by our own glowing satisfaction.
A happy ending
Oh, by the way, the fawn had no broken bones. She was treated by antibiotics and according to Diane, the wildlife handler, by late Sunday she was acting playful.
Here is a photo of the actual fawn being released back into the wild. One quick look back at the owner of Kindred Spirits, who cared for it, before it hopped merrily away.
A ‘thank you’ glance, maybe?
What do you think?
Thank YOU for reading this today,
Have a wonderful weekend,
( A Special thanks to Diane Nicholas, director of Kindred Spirits for the photos and the follow-up call.)