What You Can Learn from a Deer


“What You Can Learn from a Deer” by Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright @3i, LLC

In 1990 when I went to visit my sister, Judith Thomson, she told me that Indians chose different animals to be their teachers. To teach them something that would help them survive in life. These could be animals that you see often or sometimes an animal might show up only once. I believe you are allowed to choose nine animals to be your guides during life. They may change with your experiences and needs. One of the animals I chose was a deer.

A deer keeps calm even when facing the enemy. A deer is graceful and can walk or run with ease. A deer only eats what he needs. The mother deer looks after her young. The male has antlers to add to his protection. Each winter the antlers are shed. New ones emerge.

I actually got to touch a fawn that Judith’s friend found and raised after its parents were killed.  It had a strong musky smell to it.

Carl and I found deer in the Grand Canyon. If they were eating and noticed you. They have a keen sense of hearing. The muscles in their ears enables them to turn their ears in any direction to evaluate sounds. They can hear higher frequencies than humans. Unless they sense danger from you, they take a good look at you and keep on eating.

Deer have good night vision which enables them to get around well during the early hours of the day or at dusk.

7 Deer in our back yard on December 18, 2007

One day there were deer in our backyard. Woods about 5 miles away had been cut down to build new homes. The deer were searching for food. I didn’t have any bushes or flowers they liked, so they went on. It was funny. Pat, a lady who helped me take care of Mother said, “Do you always have deer in your back yard?”

I said, “No.”

I didn’t have my camera handy. The deer zoomed across the yard in a hurry. I told them, “Come back. I want to take your picture.” I went and got my camera and came back to the window. Low and behold, seven of them came back and let me take their picture. Then they took off to greener pastures in our neighborhood. There were 9 altogether. I only got a picture of 7 at one time.

When I was little, the first movie I saw was Bambi. I hated the fire and the fact that  the hunter killed the deer.

I hope you have animals, people, or objects to teach you what you need to survive. Please leave a comment telling me about your favorite animal and what you’ve learned from it. The Indians believed that animals were there to teach you a life lesson. I think that’s a good way to look at life.

You can add animals to a story to teach your main character a lesson to get him to his goal. You can search for an animal that has a lesson to teach you about survival, too.

To learn more about deer, you might want to look at the following:

  1. Bing Images of deer
  2. Jim Arnosky. All about Deer: http://www.amazon.com/All-About-Deer-Series/dp/0439058740
  3. Walt Disney. Bambi:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0736423087/
  4. Wanda Embar http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Deer.htm

Copyright 2012 © Joan Y. Edwards

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14 Responses

  1. A friend found a mother raccoon dead with babies nearby. I took one of the babies and had him for over a year. He was very protective of me and didn’t want anyone near me. They do wash some foods but that is because they don’t secrete enough saliva.

    Broke my heart to get rid of him but I was going to have a baby and I knew it wouldn’t work. My husband took Sinky (raccoon) down a seculed dirt road nearby and let it go. A month later a neighbor told me he saw my coon. “Only coon I’ve ever seen walking with a cat. Had to be yours.”

    • Dear Sharon, Wow! How kind of you to help this raccoon survive. Now the story of your raccoon, Sinky, and a cat on the road to survival would be a treat for everyone to read. I know it filled your heart with joy to learn that your raccoon had survived because of you. Thanks for sharing your story. Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

  2. Joan,
    I think my animal guide must be a hummingbird. I have a hummer bird feeder outside my window and there is a hummingbird that taps on my window and then vocalizes whenever the feeder is empty. On my morning walk I frequently see a hummingbird perched atop an ocotillo that watches my walkby. this small bird is always a reminder to me of how fragile life is and how we should rejoice in eachmoment.
    My mom also collected hummingbirds so when I see one I feel like Mom is still watching out for me.

    • Dear Joy, Hummingbirds are great animal guides. We can learn that even though we are small we can add a great amount of enjoyment for others. My husband’s sister, Nancy lives in Colorado. She has many hummingbird feeders surrounding her house. It’s always fun to watch them and hear them hum as they fly by my ears. My goal while I’m there is to get a close up picture. They usually are elusive to my camera. That is so neat that the hummingbirds remind you of your Mom and that when you see one you know your Mother is still watching out for you. Thank you for sharing your experience with hummingbirds.

      Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

  3. My sacred animal has always been Crow or Raven. They remind me to ‘pay attention’ … to my surroundings both physical and other-worldly, to what I am doing/thinking, and to others. A very useful Teacher.

    • Dear Widdershins, How cool that your sacred animal has always been Crow or Raven! One of my sister, Judith’s favorite sacred guides was “Crow.” Whenever I heard a crow, I would think of her. Now I’ll think of you, too. How neat to have the crow to cause you to pay attention to your surroundings both physical and other-worldly. Very wise on your part to heed its voice. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate it very much.

      Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

  4. Joan,
    I’m glad deer visited your backyard and that these lovely creatures have brought you so much joy and life lessons too.

    I don’t have a favorite animal to name, but I do enjoy observing the wildlife that travels through our yard that is bordered by woods and a creek. The most recent and unexpected delight was seeing a wild turkey strut through. Just one.

    I have learned much from wildlife observations. One outstanding lesson came from a freshwater turtle that chose our yard to lay eggs and then immediately headed back to the water. This reminds me that I should focus on submitting my writing and then get right back to writing instead of hanging around, waiting, and dwelling on the outcome of each submission. Mother turtle just gets right back to what she does best. Likewise, I need to keep on writing.

    • Dear Linda, Thanks for writing. I love the life lesson that you learned from the Mother turtle: To submit your writing and then get back to work writing more. Awesome. Perhaps the turkey was reminding you to be proud of who you are and what you do. Time to celebrate you!

      Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

      • Nice thought, Joan. I think the turkey might have been saying, “Beware of moving trucks!” Tee hee! Scotty scared it as he drove down our dirt road. Perhaps, the warning applies to words/situations etc. that could “run us over” if we let it. Let’s just don’t let it!

        • Dear Linda, That’s so funny! You’re right. The turkey could be reminding you not to let things “run us over.” Great words of wisdom! Thanks for sharing.

          Dream! Love! Laugh! Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

  5. My favourite animal is the dog. What I try and learn is to live in the moment, don’t hold a grudge, and play.
    As for the deer, both my husband and I have been charged by a deer. It can be pretty scary and I must say, I felt silly being afraid it it. I was walking in the forest with my dog, when we came across a deer and a fawn. The mother charged us, and we had to hide behind a tree. I learned to steer clear of deer with young. I still love seeing them though.

    • Dear Kristina, Thanks for writing. I enjoyed hearing that the dog reminds you to live in the moment, don’t hold a grudge, and play. Awesome lessons for everyone. I can imagine that being charged by the deer was very scary. I’m glad that you were able to find safe harbor behind a tree. When the deer found out you weren’t going to seek her or the fawn, she may have relaxed. Who knows! Anyhow I’m glad you and your hubby and dog were safe! Hurray! Celebrate you and your life today!

      Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

  6. Remember “All I Need to Know, I Learned From My Cat”? I liked that little book, good stuff!

    • Dear Mary Jo,
      I haven’t read that book, but I’ll bet a cat can teach us a lot. I’ll check my library and see if it has a copy. Thanks for sharing. It’s amazing the lessons we learn from God’s creatures and from each other. Perhaps your cat in your picture taught you to take chances on yourself! I’m proud of all you do. Celebrate your love of writing.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

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