My research this week was to watch Walt Disney’s “Bambi.” You probably wonder, “How is that?”
With the distress of the wildfires raging across our beautiful Western states, I couldn’t help but think, not only of the devastation dealt to so many humans in lives and property lost, but also our animal friends.
Here in the Methow, there are so many beautiful creatures, great and small. In our neighborhood this summer, we have been graced with a young bear galloping through, a stately moose passing by, at least a few coyotes by the sound of them howling at the moon, and all the little guys — rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, to name a few. A large owl swooped in early one evening recently, but the most delightful guests were a surprising group of seven deer.
Wandering across our green grass early one morning were two bucks, two does and three fawns. They entertained us for at least 15 minutes. The babies cavorted around the yard as if they were at recess. To watch the dynamics with the two bucks and their mamas was truly an education in deer interaction. The babies teased each other as they pulled a full binky rabbit move — a sudden, unprovoked leap into the air with a simultaneous, small twist of the body and head in opposite directions.
The bucks nosed the playmakers away while the mamas became irritated with all the commotion, pawing at the fawns as if to say, “Knock it off!” or “Go play elsewhere; I have munching to do here.”
The seven moved on down the lane and maybe we won’t see that particular combination again. But, I thought of Bambi and then tried to remember the actual story that left every animal lover with a lump in the throat. Of course, it was the loss of his mama that evoked heartbreak and tears when first viewed as a youngster.
“Bambi” was Walt Disney’s fifth full-length animated film that was first released in 1942 during World War II. It was subsequently released six times in theaters before being made available on home video in 1989.
“Man” was the foe to Bambi and the other forest creatures the likes of Thumper, Flower and Owl. It was the hunters that they all feared most with their certain demise, but Man’s carelessness also led to a wildfire that left them all scrambling for their lives. Such is what has happened here in the Okanogan and across Oregon and California. I’m not saying they were caused by man’s carelessness; that is still unknown, but the results regardless of the cause are the same.
As folks usually come together in disasters, so has an organization based in Gig Harbor to bring voluntary veterinary services to underserved areas of the world and disaster response services for major disasters. World Vets arrived in Omak to provide veterinary relief for animals impacted by the Cold Springs and Pearl Hill fires. Primarily, they are addressing the needs of horses and cattle with varying degrees of burns, many severe. Other animals have wounds from fleeing the fire. The group is providing many additional services with the help of hard-working local volunteers. See their website, worldvets.org, for updated news on their work in Omak and a well deserved “Donate” click.
Another touching animal story came to my attention. Riley Wisdom of Mansfield is a compassionate animal lover, working as a groomer for her day job and doing animal rescue in her spare time. On Sept. 10, Riley found a porcupine that she aptly named Porky sitting under a tree burned by fire and surrounded by ash, totally unresponsive.
Riley said, “I have seen a lot of sad things, (but) this was at the top of my list. She had just given up completely.” The porcupine’s quills were all burnt off. Riley covered the poor creature in a quilt and took her home to nurse her back to health. With pain medication, antibiotics and regular eyewashes, Porky is healing and her quills are growing back, reports Riley. She plans to release her back into the wild soon.
So, “Bambi” was pertinent after all. Little did I know that there is also a “Bambi II” released in 2006. It chronicles the “missing year” after his mother’s death when his father The Great Prince raised the little fawn and taught him the ways of the forest.
Note: Mazama’s Little Library could use some books! Great time to clear out some shelves.