The White Fawn

Down by the back garden crows were calling and calling –for hours. One crow in particular stood out, its cry had a strange urgency and peculiar accent…as if in crow dialect. Just before leaving the garden, the cry came out of the forest, walked up to Cansas, in the form of an albino fawn…only a few days old. The two standard poodles, never tolerant of unknown animals, were gentle towards it and the usual chase/attack didn’t happen. Usually its a bad idea to take a fawn, their mothers leave them for hours to browse. The fawns know to lay quietly hidden under brush until mother returns. They don’t cry like this unless its been far too long, nor do they take the risk of approaching humans.

When Cansas called for me and I saw the white bundle in her arms, heard the concern in her voice, I knew we had a tough decision to make. Taking care of young wildlings is always time consuming, difficult, and often heart breaking.

fawn curls in hayNew fawns have to be bottle fed about 3 oz of goat milk (better to have a milk substitute made for deer) every 3 hours around the clock. Fresh water must be nearby.A lot of fawns die because their caretakers don’t know to massage the abdomen and rear end until it pees or defecates after each feeding. They have to be kept warm and indoors at night. The big question is what to do with them when they grow up. As a wild animal, they can be unpredictable and deer can be dangerous. Then there’s the problem of protecting gardens. They can’t just be turned out into the woods. If they aren’t socialized with other deer, they’ll do poorly.


We were lucky, before the end of the day we located a wildlife rescue group that agreed to raise it. Another issue, its illegal to keep a fawn or deer without proper license and they need to be tagged. Of course, we were quickly falling in love. Our mother nature wanting to claim it forever.

We knew how the native peoples regard the white wildlings as carriers of extra spiritual power…as messengers. Indeed, this angel had the sweet trust of one expecting to find itself in a world of love. It found it. At least for now.

Fawn standing 

(Note, the date function on my camera doesn’t work, these photos are just a few days old)


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About dcoda

An herbalist for over 40 years, ten years spent alone in the Ozark Hurricane Creek Wilderness Preserve, working with its brilliant botanicals. I'm an instructor and co-founder of the Ozark Herbal Academy which offers training in medicinal and edible plants through hands-on workshops and online courses.

Posted on June 12, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Thank you very much for this heartwarming story Elle, as a rescuer, protector and substitute parent for so many creatures throughout a rather long eventful life I wish you and the little white bundle of joy all the best during both your and her/his hopefully full but serene life.

    Terry aka Socratoad

    • Terry, what a treat to find you here…one of my very favorite “amplifiers”, seems like we follow each other around. The white angel is off to play with other fawns, as it should be. I’m reminding myself to stay alert to nature’s treasures, we never know what she’ll come up with next!!

  2. Wow, great story, and wonderful photographs. Madison sent us over.

    • Thanks Bob! When something marvelous happens, don’t you want to be able to share it with the whole world? Times like this I’m really grateful to have internet around.

  3. Its gorgeous!!! You are so lucky. and it looks like a love affair has started. You are now mama and it really depends on you for its life. I saw a albino skunk last year but you don’t see this very often. Thanks for posting, I sent it to my professor friend in San Antonio. He’ll love it. Becky

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