My husband and I were called to the mountains, so here we are.
I’ve had many lessons on compassion, honesty, and respect during my lifetime. I also moved here able to already identify a cooing dove and whippoorwill, but I knew far more about the sounds of an ambulance, fire truck, police car than the singing of coyotes.
Keeping that in mind, I share a little story.
The dogs were outside—and what a racket! A doe was caught in the cage-trap meant for wild hogs!
I called a neighbor to come quick and free the doe. She was tangled and mangled, and Sadie, the calmer dog, was no help. Sadie was having a duck-fit, wanting a piece of that deer!
Barking and growling from dogs and a deer thrashing, floundering, battering herself. That’s how it was for 10 long minutes. When there were momentary pauses, I thought I heard a baby fawn making a baaaa sound back toward the river. Almost the sound of sheep.
When freed, the doe headed out—not to the deep woods—but toward the river.
Two days later, a horrific smell. Then buzzards.
Sad struck me, then my thoughts ricocheted to the fawn.
I wanted the Bambi story to have a happy ending where the fawn was adopted by another doe and played among the trees, rocks, babbling river.
An evening not long after that, my husband and I were together in a golf cart in the pasture. I heard the baaaa sound again. My husband, who now admits to impaired hearing, could not hear it.
He asked, “Which direction is the sound?”
“This way,” I said. He got out of the cart and stepped into three inches of water, looking for a fawn in deep grass.
“Now, it’s over here….” He moved the other direction of my pointing hand.
I said, “I can’t believe it. It’s over this other way now….”
My husband said, “What?! Oh, it’s bullfrogs! Pat, it’s bullfrogs you’re hearing!”
I smiled. “Do they sound like sheep? like fawns? like baby goats?”
How he howled! How I laughed! Laughing at ourselves and at each other!
I don’t struggle with hearing. I struggle to make what I hear make sense. Bull frogs!
Twilight and bear. Those, I recognize. Now, a new sound to fine-tune. I don’t yet know the difference between the sound of bull frogs, a fawn, a baby goat. All different sounds but similar.
A mother doe is probably fine-tuned and does not have to check out bullfrogs.
(patdurmon.com / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Checking for baby deer in the pasture. Photo by Jimmy Durmon, June 2019.