Spotted Blessings

Yesterday was a day of grace.


I rafted the mighty Colorado river, throwing flies to trout still hungry from winter’s wasteland. My daughter and I caught more than forty: browns, rainbows, and, first cast out of the raft, a scarce cutbow. Fat and sassy or long and lean, they were healthy after two years of strong snowfall that yielded enough annual moisture for a steady bug feast.

We pulled bank-side for our favorite river lunch: tuna salad, Fritos, and freeform homemade blueberry pies. Sat in the sun, propped our feet against rubbery pontoons, enjoyed water whooshing past — life was good.

But the day started that way.

Approaching the put in, I said, “deer on the left.” My guide and I collided with one once, and walked away with a totaled SUV, bloody nose, and sprained finger. We are now especially vigilant about creatures crossing rural roads leading to rivers. He slowed as the doe pranced out. Then stopped as the first fawn appeared.

It was days old. As in, less than a week. It’s spindly legs worked awkwardly, thrashing in spasms, like a tiny Lipizzaner stallion executing show paces. Finally, it stumbled up the embankment to join Mama.

We waited. Deer often produce twins.

fawnSure enough, the second spotted baby tumbled onto the dirt. Unsure how to steer its body, it turned circles, then stopped in the middle of road. Mama and sibling were up high as Road-Baby made the squeaking noises peculiar to newborn deer. I hoped oncoming traffic wouldn’t force me to throw myself in front of the spotted wonder because that’s just something a mama would do.

Finally, after much peeping and pirouetting and three face plants, the fawn joined its family atop the little hill.

“All creatures great and small, the Lord God made them all.” 

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