They were driving through the heavily wooded area, staring out of the windows. It was common for them to see wildlife in these areas, but he had never encountered anything like this before. His eyes drifted towards his friends, he wondered if they knew what to do.
He assumed that none of them had been in this situation before, either. But they all knew that they couldn’t just leave, they had to do something and they had to act fast.
Roads In The Country
When they set out that day, Steve Knoop never thought he’d find himself in such a situation. Despite having lived in a rural community for a long time, neither he nor his friends had any idea of what they were about to face.
The road they were driving on rarely had any traffic as it bordered the woods. They were chatting and having a good time. Then, suddenly, Steve slammed on the brakes.
An Object In The Road
Steve’s friends, Bewildered by the sudden halt, scolded him for such jarring action. And then they saw it. Their first thought was that it was an animal that had been hit by a car. There was a small, brown lump in the middle of the road.
Not seeing any other evidence of an accident, and seeing that there were no other cars around, they got out to investigate. And that’s when things only got stranger.
A Lonely Fawn
They realized what the animal was as they slowly walked closer: It was a baby deer. Steve was saddened at the thought of the helpless creature that got hit by a car. But the fawn’s eyes were open.
Something wasn’t right: its legs were in a strange position around its body, collapsed.. like it had tried to make itself look smaller. Then, one of the guys voiced a theory.
A Calculated Posture?
Steve’s friend thought that perhaps by crouching like that, the fawn was trying to camouflage itself and hide. Judging by the creature’s size, another real possibility was pointed out by someone else: it had probably been born just minutes before.
Then they saw it breathe and reached the conclusion that the fawn was unharmed and healthy. But either way, they knew that they couldn’t just go on their merry way and leave it there.
What To Do?
One of the guys said “I think we should leave it alone,” But Steve, afraid that another driver might not see it and run it over, had an idea. “I’ll just go up there and park my truck sideways and wait until it gets up,” he explained. “It should get up soon.”
While they were wondering how long they would have to guard the fawn against the dangerous road, they heard a rustling sound coming from behind.
The men all heard the rustle, then they felt it – a prickle on the back of all their necks. Something was standing in the woods just off the road behind them, watching them.
The fawn had probably known about this other presence all along. Maybe it had a good reason to lie so still and make itself look so small.
Paul Makes A Decision
Despite the potential danger, Paul and Steve agreed that they should get the fawn out of the road, but the other guys were still unsure. Realizing that they didn’t have any better ideas, they decided to go along with Paul’s decision.
He started walking very slowly to the baby deer. Meanwhile, Steve captured it all on camera. Paul said, worrying about frightening the fawn, “It’s not gonna hurt me…I’m not worried about that.”
Paul carefully moved his hands closer and closer while he bent down behind the fawn, testing its reaction to his presence. Realizing that it didn’t seem too spooked, he gently placed his hands under its hind legs.
After he had slowly scooped it up, he stood up quickly and started walking across the road toward the woods. Then, the fawn started to struggle.
Moment Of Truth
The fawn started trying to get out of Paul’s hands, moving its legs just as he had stepped out of the road and onto the grassy shoulder – like it didn’t want to be taken to the woods. One of the guys said: “Don’t drop it!”
Luckily, Paul had a strong grip that enabled him to lower the fawn closer to the ground, and then he let go. Suddenly, the baby deer leaped into the woods, where something else was waiting for him.
What had been hiding in the woods was the baby deer’s mom. The men realized that it must be the fawn’s mother, as they turned toward the woods and saw that, peering at them from behind the foliage, there was an adult deer.
Steve felt relieved by the knowledge that at least the baby deer had a chance for survival and hadn’t been abandoned.
Paul turned to look at his friends with an ecstatic look on his face as soon as he saw the fawn leaping towards its mother, “Yeah!” he shouted, with his arms in the air. The other men were also delighted that the mission was accomplished.
One of them exclaimed that it was “awesome!”. Steve, knowing what a remarkable moment it had been, decided to post the video online. But reactions differed.
The Right Thing To Do?
Some people were critical of Steve and Paul’s actions, saying the fawn probably would have made its way back to its mother who was nearby if the guys had just backed away. Most people praised Paul for helping save the baby deer, though.
Steve’s video of the incident has been viewed over five million times… but are the negative reactions to the video warranted?
Mom Always Comes Back
As a person, it is normal to worry that a baby by itself may be in trouble, but according to the Virginia Beach Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, female deer do tend to leave their fawns on their own while it’s light out, and they always come back.
Most of the time it is best to leave them alone because handling them could lead to dire consequences.
The lingering human scent on a faun could cause their mothers to reject them, so wildlife experts generally advise against touching baby deer.
The Washington Department of Fish and WildlifeIf recommends that, if you must handle them, you “rub an old towel in the grass and wipe the fawn to remove human scent” afterward. Paul had no time to clean the fawn off before it ran off — but this doesn’t mean that what he did was wrong.
Helping Animals In Need
“If the fawn is found in a dangerous place… [it] may be picked up and immediately moved several feet away from the danger,” The Virginia Beach Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says on their website.
They would definitely have approved of what Paul had done that day. And we agree, too! But it’s not only humans who can show an amazing amount of compassion toward other beings…
Mark held his breath. His dog Storm had never jumped into the sea like that. In fact, he usually acted like a cat around water. He paddled away from the shore and disappeared underwater.
Was he alright? Could he breathe? The waves were getting bigger. Mark’s heart stopped. But when Storm finally surfaced, he finally realized what was going on.
Mark Freeley was lonely. He thought working as a busboy in the evenings, a waiter between classes, and a barista in the mornings would make his day fly.
But instead, the hours dragged. He didn’t have time to socialize with anyone in Hofstra University School of Law, let alone have a relationship! He functioned on four hours of sleep a night. Eventually, the pressure started to take a toll on him emotionally and physically.
His neighbor had the constant company of a canine. Mark always dreamed of having his own dog. He promised himself that when he finally made it to a comfortable position, he would adopt a pooch to share the good life with.
However, after all the years spent working, studying, and trying to keep himself from having a mental breakdown, he wasn’t sure if he could even take care of himself. Rent was so high, he was living on pasta and noodles. Then, things changed.
After his first year, Mark finally saved up enough to move into a loft downtown. Finally, he didn’t have to eat where he slept or sleep where he ate. What was he going to do with all this room?
As he waited on the steps for the delivery van, a short man passed with a basket of pups. “20 bucks. Sir?” Mark looked down at the furballs. Maybe it was a sign? But was he ready to be responsible for another life? For the first time in forever, Mark decided to take a chance.
Storm was a beautiful golden retriever. Mark soon forgot what the word ‘lonely’ meant. Storm may have left his sofa covered in long blonde hairs, but he was infatuated. He no longer had to come home to an empty house.
And as time went on, his career excelled. He was passionate and re-energized. After a year, they welcomed Sarah to their family. She was a lab mix and immediately fit in. Finally, everything had fallen into place. But there were some things Mark couldn’t control.
Storm and Sarah kept Mark physically and mentally fit. When he didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, they dragged him to the door for walks.
An hour twice a day was enough to tire Mark Freeley, but not Storm. Everything seemed the same that morning. Mark drank his coffee and then grabbed the leash. A stroll along Long Island beach was going to do them the world of good. But he never thought he would witness this.
Storm ran into the water and swam like a fish in Pirate’s Cove. Mark had only ever seen him move that fast for food! What was going on?
He disappeared beneath the surface and reappeared by a brown mound. Was it dirt? Seaweed? But as Storm made his way back to the shore, Mark couldn’t believe what was in his mouth.
When Storm finally reached land, Mark grabbed his phone. The storm hadn’t returned with a random treasure, but a fawn.
Somehow, it had fallen into the water before being dragged out by the tide. Storm opened his jaw and let the young animal fall to the ground. But it wasn’t moving. What had Storm done?
Understandably, the fawn was exhausted from trying to stay afloat in the sea. Mark was astonished. How had it managed to tread the water? How long was it stuck out there?
But most importantly, how did Storm even notice an animal that was meters away in the middle of the sea?
The young faun had little chance of escape. Had it not been for Storm, the young creature would have surely perished. Storm picked it up by the back of the neck as it if was his own puppy.
But the fawn still wasn’t moving. Its mother was nowhere to be seen and Mark wasn’t sure what to do. Just as he got animal rescue on the phone, something amazing happened.
Storm tugged on the fawn’s ears. After a moment, it began to wake up. He lay down next to it, hoping it was ready to get up. But when it eventually stood, it walked two steps and collapsed again.
Storm jumped to its side and began to rub his belly with his nose. Then, he started pulling the fawn’s leg. Mark thought the story was going to have a sad ending. But fate had another idea.
The young fawn eventually stood and began to walk. Mark was mesmerized. Had Storm really encouraged the young animal to stand up again? He couldn’t believe what he had witnessed.
He shared the video online which gained over 2 million views. “He only knows love and care and attention, and I swear, that’s part of his personality,” Mark later shared. But this wasn’t the first instance of Storm showing just how special he was.
Mark shared that they had been fostering two puppies that same week. Storm was six at the time, but the puppies treated him like one of their own by pulling his ears and biting his tail.
“They were tormenting him,” Mark explained. But Storm wasn’t one bit bothered. He sat peacefully as the young pups used him as a chewing toy. “This dog has never given me a day of grief.” What was Mark’s secret?
Storm is now 7 years old and continues to be the ideal pet. And Mark had some advice to give to new pet owners. “When you’re training from your dog, it’s all about positive reinforcement and love,” he explained.
“I’ve never had to raise my voice.” It seems as though the loving, secure environment Mark provided really helped Storm blossom into a calm, caring dog. But would his reputation remain untarnished forever?