Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, May 24, 1999

Adopted by a deer ­ a story about Spot


I saw something with white spots in the tall weeds by the lakeshore. When I got closer, I could see that it was a baby deer. I went even closer, but the deer didn't move. And then I realized that the little deer was hurt.

I went to get my parents. When the deer saw my dad, it tried to get up, but it could not. Dad picked the baby deer up and we could see that it had a big cut on its leg.

Dad said, "I'm sure this little deer is hungry and thirsty. Go get some milk mixed with water in a pail for it."

Mother brought the pail with warm milk and water, but the deer didn't want to drink it. Dad and mother held the deer's head and tried to put milk in its mouth. The deer started to lick its lips.

Mother dipped her fingers in the warm milk and the deer sucked the milk off of her fingers. Then Mother moved her hand to the pail and slowly the deer put his head in the pail and started to drink the milk.

Dad looked at the deer's hurt leg. It didn't appear to be broken; it was just a bad cut. Dad cleaned up the cut and bandaged it. We tried to set the little deer up and help it walk, but every time it tried to stand on the sore leg, it would fall down.

"Let's put the deer in my office," Dad said. We found an old blanket and laid the little deer down on it on the floor. Mother left the pail with milk near the deer and we went into the house to eat lunch.

"Let's name the little deer Spot," I said.

"Spot is a good name," Mother agreed.

About two hours later, Dad went back to his office and he found Spot walking around his office ­ on three legs. And the little deer had spilled her milk all over the blanket.

After we cleaned up the mess, we moved Spot outside under a tree. Dad put a rope around its neck and I walked around with Spot while Mother got some milk for the deer to drink. After it drank the milk, the deer walked over to the blanket and went to sleep.

Spot slept for two hours. When the deer woke up, it immediately went over to its pail. Mother had to get Spot more milk to drink.

As Spot followed Mother to the kitchen, Dad asked her, "Did you ever think you would be a mother to a deer?" We all laughed as the deer tried to suck on Mother's apron.

The little deer became very tame. It would follow me everywhere and its leg started to heal very nicely. It was with us for about three days and then, Spot disappeared.

But after a few days, we found Spot by the back door again, pushing the pail around. We got the deer some more milk and after it drank all it wanted, it left again. Spot was walking and running real good on the hurt leg now.

Spot came back to visit us and get something to eat every so often all summer. When fall came, we didn't see Spot for about three weeks. We were worried that someone had shot the young deer and we were feeling very sad.

But one night, Spot showed up at our back door again. It was the last night of hunting season. We gave Spot some milk and then, dad shut the deer in the garage for the night so that it would be in a safe place until hunting season was over.

For the next two years, Spot would come to see us every so often. Then the deer stopped coming and Dad said that he thought maybe Spot had gone up north to live with other deer.

I still look for Spot and hope that, someday, that deer will come back to visit us again.

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