Daniel stepped into the house, cradling something. A second look revealed the surprise, a perfectly adorable fawn covered with white spots. By all evidence, it was no more than a week old. We gasped. Could it be a real baby deer?
Daniel explained how its mommy had gotten hit on the road a few days before. And now the neighbors notified us that they had seen its baby out on her own.
I joined the six children as we all trailed Daniel to the barn. This baby deer was to get the best care ever.
We had all relished the stories Daniel, and his siblings had shared of Frisky, the baby deer they had rescued years ago, and how it just was loose running around the farm. Why it had been so tame, it followed them right into the house, heading straight for the pantry where it was always treated with marshmallows. In my head, I was seeing all sorts of future scenes with our little ones bonding with this adorable little thing in desperate need of nutrition. First, we mixed up some adoption formulas for baby animals as such. We were relieved to see it drink it down. One by one, Daniel gave the children permission to come and touch it so as not to scare or overwhelm it.
Daniel made a call to the shelter for abandoned fawns; they informed us that it is illegal to keep a fawn like this, but, gave us some basic instructions how to take care of it until taken to the animal foster team. Daniel proceeded to do all he could for it. Noticing that it was rapidly losing strength, he carried it back to the house, which was slightly cooler. We gathered around it. It couldn’t be true… we questioned if our eyes were seeing right; this prized little deer looked as if it were about to draw its last breaths. In a matter of minutes, it was gone. There were tears to wipe as we hugged disappointed children. Daniel made another call to the rescue team again. They were not surprised by this sudden decline and death; with being separated from its mama so long, the rescue team thanked us for our help in caring for this little fawn
To our dear little children, it didn’t seem right, and it didn’t seem fair. “You know, children, I think God allowed this to make us strong for bigger and more difficult things we will face in life.”
“Like what?” one of them wanted to know.
I drew a deep breath. Surely this subject has been heavy on my mind. “I don’t know. Only God knows what will happen in our future, but life always disappoints everyone at one point or other. This grief will make us stronger if we choose to accept it, instead of fighting against it or declaring it can’t be.” After a bit, it was supper time, even if appetites weren’t all back to normal.
I set a cake on the table for dessert with the words “Jesus cares,” written with icing. Julia helped me decorate it with additional hearts as tokens of God’s love for us.
As you face your heartaches, take a slice of God’s comforting ‘cake’, which to me, is claiming a promise in His Word. It is sure to minister hope to your trial!
Now, as we go on with life, the children look forward to our baby goats, due in a week from now! I trust it will be healing for them to bottle feed these little babies. Daddy is guessing the mommy, Daisy will have two babies this time. The names have all been picked out already. We just need to wait and see if they’ll be boys or girls. The children love to go out in the pasture and talk to Daisy. Twelve-month-old Joshua thinks it’s the grandest thing to hand feed maple leaves to the expectant mommy.
Okay, so while you wait on our barnyard babies, join us as we eat fresh taters from the garden. This year I’ve been enjoying them extra much, they are so tasty, and it’s so fun to scrub them clean and not worry about peeling them, knowing that many nutrients are lost when the peelings are removed.
I’m passing on my sister-in-law’s recipe for Cheesy Potato Bake. It is super easy to make, and the recipe can easily be divided in half.
Homestyle Cheesy Potato Bake
6 unpeeled baking potatoes
1 small onion (optional)
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Dried or fresh parsley
Thinly slice raw potatoes and place in greased 9-inch by 13-inch pan.
Slice onions thin and place on top of potatoes.
In a small saucepan, heat butter, salts, and pepper until butter is melted.
Drizzle over potatoes.
Cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender.
Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.
Bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
Note: sliced cheese or any other kind of shredded cheese may be used if desired.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427