Back in May 2002, when we first purchased our properties and the land was new to us, we took walks to understand the “lay” of our land. One particular 40 acre section on my son’s land was covered in a delightful patchwork of small meadow and oak woods. This meant constantly changing dapple-light and sudden late spring sun, followed by dense oak shade, as we walked along the cow trails from meadow to meadow. The wood was really just on its best behavior – the grass was still green and stood up like little wires around the lushly mossed oaks; the wild flowers, actually a little shy, were sprinkled here and there and then gone.
Now, my rottweiler, Shiva, was with me. She was always keen and alert for these walks. She loved being up close and following my son. Suddenly her head darted to the side and into a grassy clump my son had just past. I heard a squeal. Her head came up. She gave the very young fawn in her mouth one swift shake and it fell quiet, drooping limply out either side of her jaws. She looked at me briefly, tossed her head high and pranced off into the woods with her prize.
And, if this isn’t strange enough, two weeks later, hidden in the very same clump of grass, Shiva caught another fawn, in exactly the same manner.