Jackie the Fawn

Jackie was a very tiny baby when she was given to the Conservation Center by a forest ranger. A tourist had picked her up on a mountain road. He seemed to think that because her mother was not with her, she was lost and he must take care of her. Of course he should have shooed her off the road and gone on. Her mother, who was nearby, would have taken care of her. But he thought ''finders keepers" and took her into his car.

Some other tourists whom he met told him there was a $500 fine for taking a fawn, and a jail sentence to go along with it. So he became frightened and decided to get rid of Jackie. He dumped the poor little fawn out of his car many miles from where he had taken her from her mother. Jackie would have died of hunger if a forest ranger had not rescued her.

Jackie was so tiny when the forest ranger brought her to me that I kept her at my own home until she learned to drink milk from a pan instead of a bottle.

There were already two fawns at the Center, Jack B. Nimble and Light Foot, both older and bigger than Jackie. When Jackie was about two months old I thought that she was old enough to take care of herself in the yard with the others and would enjoy their company. So plans were made to move her outside with them.

When Jackie was a very tiny baby, she had visited the Girl Scout Day Camp. Then the nature counselor had carried her in her arms exactly like a baby. Now she was much bigger and stronger and moving her was a different story. It took four people to get her into a trailer and keep her from jumping out while on the road. Poor Jackie was awfully frightened. She knew these people were all her good friends, but still she was a little wild thing in an unnatural environment, and she wasn't quite sure what was happening to her.

How happy she was, then, to find herself in a yard with two playmates. The three deer romped around getting acquainted. What a lot of exciting games they all played together.

By the end of the summer, the two older fawns were nearly grown. Their antlers were coming, and they were too big for such a small yard. The Fish and Game Department placed them in the Roseville Zoo where they lived happily for many years. Jack B. Nimble and Light Foot were so friendly and tame and without fear of man that they could not be released into the wild. They would not be safe in the forest when deer hunting season opened.

Jackie stayed at the Conservation Center and was always happy to have children come and see her. They would give her an apple core or a few graham crackers or some raisins or a piece of banana. She loved them for it. She would also enjoy a handful of cornflakes or grapenut flakes.

While Jackie enjoyed the children at the Conservation Center and received good care, do you think she would have been happier living in the forest with her own family and other deer? What do you think happened to Jackie when she became an adult?