A fawn seeks an unusual refuge

By G. Sam Piatt - PDT Contributor



We’ve seen drawings or heard about how a mother, too poor to care for her baby, leaves it in a basket at the door of what appears to be a well-to-do family, hoping they will give the baby a home.

Doug Spillman’s experience was similar to that, or so it seemed at first.

On Friday, June 9, he discovered a fawn lying on the front stoop of his Flatwoods home. The animal seemed healthy but had some open wounds on its rear, no doubt where dogs – or maybe coyotes in the woods – had tried to bring it down.

The little whitetail with the spotted coat left, returned on Saturday morning, then left again.

On Sunday morning, Spillman saw it and the mother together on his front lawn. Both were browsing.

So, for now at least, the story seems to have a happy ending.


There are so many predators, chiefly coyotes, on the prowl for a mess of venison; so many busy highways where deer collide with vehicles; so many winters when food supplies are scarce, we’re left to marvel at how the whitetail populations in Kentucky and Ohio continue to thrive.

Hunting, controlled by seasons and numbers, is the management tool used by wildlife officials.

Last year hunters in Kentucky thinned the herds by killing more than 139,000, while their counterparts in Ohio took more than 187,000 for all seasons.

Still, though, vehicle insurance companies and farmers and gardeners complain of too many deer.

Such are the marvels of nature.


Asian carp now inhabit the Ohio River in large numbers from the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville downstream to the Mississippi River. None have been documented on our stretch of the river, but no doubt they’re coming.

These foreign invaders reproduce at rates that boggle the mind, and grow in size with alarming speed. They now dominate the Illinois River.

One species of Asian carp, the silver carp, is spooked by vibrations from outboard motors so that great numbers of them jump completely out of the water, landing in boats and sometimes injuring boaters who are struck by them.

Kentucky and Ohio fisheries personnel are stepping up a campaign to educate anglers about Asian carp, which are spread from one water to another by accident. Young Asian carp look like native baitfish, such as shad. Fishermen catch their baitfish in nets and take them to other waters, tossing back what’s not used at the end of the day without realizing they may be releasing Asian carp.

No responsible fisherman wants these fish in their lakes and reservoirs. New education efforts include posters and wallet-sized cards warning anglers of how quickly Asian carp can dominate a body of water and crowd out the native species.

The posters show the difference between Asian carp and native shad and skipjack herring.

One thing anglers can do is to use baitfish in the same waters where they have collected them. Don’t catch shad, which may include young Asian carp, in the Ohio River and release them in, say, Turkey Creek Lake or Greenbo Lake. They can doom bodies of water that small.


A frog goes into a bank and approaches a teller. He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patricia Whack.

“Miss Whack, I’d like to get a $30,000 loan to take a holiday.”

Patty looks at the frog in misbelief and asks his name.

The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it’s okay, he knows the bank manager.

Patty tells the frog he will need to secure the loan with some collateral.

The frog says, “Sure. I have this,” and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about half an inch tall – bright pink and perfectly formed.

Very confused, Patty says that she’ll have to consult with the bank manager and disappears into a back office.

She finds the manager and says, “There’s a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral.” She holds up the tiny pink elephant. “I mean, what in the world is this?”

The bank manager looks back at her and says, “It’s a knickknack, Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man’s a Rolling Stone.”

(You’re singing it, aren’t you?}


By G. Sam Piatt

PDT Contributor

Reach G. SAM PIATT at gsamwriter@twc.com or (606) 932-3619.

Reach G. SAM PIATT at gsamwriter@twc.com or (606) 932-3619.