A little fawn, and the abrupt end of what was a great day

Mama doe.

buy now Column and photo by Mike Kellems

I was having a great day… Monday was the start of school in Chesterton and everything went very well. The first few days of the school year are filled with anticipation, anxiety (mostly for the staff ) and hopes

Mike Kellems

of hiccup-less days. Two days down, 178 days left, and all was going smoothly. I made it home, changed clothes and went to a friend’s barn to wash my work vehicle. On the way home I spotted a doe standing in the road; a big mama doe watching to see what I was going to do, and within seconds, she took off like a shot, running across a field. As expected, two little spotted fawns trotted out of the woods and ran after their mom. I grabbed my camera hoping for a photo, however before I could take a picture, all I saw was the backside and I knew the editor wouldn’t approve of that shot, not even from Wellinski!

I see that same scene a lot living out in the country. Mama followed by the kids. In the winter, when the snow gets deep and there isn’t a lot for them to feed on, I’ll dump a 50-pound bag of corn in the backyard. In the morning, judging by all of the tracks in the snow, it looks like a whole herd enjoyed the feast.
I proceeded up the road 50 yards or so and as I crested a small hill I saw something in the road. As I drew closer, I was saddened to see a fawn, most likely a sister to the family that I just saw. She was badly injured and struggling to breathe. Obviously she’d been hit by a car and unfortunately, was not going to make it. I knew what I was going to have to do. 
As a policeman I’ve had the unfortunate duty of putting animals down numerous times. It is one of the more difficult parts of the job; no one likes to do it, however we know that it is best for the animal. I pulled the little deer off to the side of the road, said a quick prayer and put her down. While I know this was literally putting the animal out of its misery, it still makes me feel bad. I wondered if the mother knows what happened, I wonder if animals miss one of their kids. I think of that little fawn come wintertime and I’ll probably put out a little more corn this winter.
Damn … I was having such a great day. 

6 Responses to “A little fawn, and the abrupt end of what was a great day”

  1. alk

    Aug 15. 2018

    Damn, me too 😢

    Reply to this comment
  2. Anita M. Way

    Aug 15. 2018

    Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV)
    1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
    3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
    7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

    This doesn’t change what happened; however; God’s Word gives us comfort in all seasons. We have suffered the loss of a child and it hurts. God is good . . . ALL THE TIME!

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  3. Lynn Lisarelli

    Aug 15. 2018

    Dear Mr. Kellems,

    Thank you for what you did even though it wound up being a very sad thing to have to do. I am very, very sorry.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Deb Spencer

    Aug 15. 2018

    I’m very grateful that you did the humane thing. And I’m sure that momma would’ve thanked you if she knew!! I’m sorry, however, that it made a bad end to your good day!!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Terry Scherer

    Aug 16. 2018

    I feel your grief, Mike. I remember the first time I had to put an animal down when I was a deputy marshal in Westville. It is never easy. Please take comfort in Matthew 10:29. The Lord watches over and cares for all of His creation. My opinion you did the right thing to pray before you did it. LaPorte police officer Dan Reed had the sorrow of putting down 2 of his K-9s who were terminally ill. I remember I prayed with him and his wife Julie prior to the vet having to put the K-9s down on both occasions. Sad moments!

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  6. Julie

    Aug 16. 2018

    Terry, you and Doug Samuelson were by our sides through those two difficult times. We can’t thank you and the K-9 brothers enough for the help with the burials of these family members, Jupp and Rhon and supporting our family. God Bless to all who have lost a beloved pet.

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