Ovation: Saving “Miss Ice River”
I spent my childhood in a beautiful area of the country where there were many forest preserves and parks. Consequently, herds of deer became famous for gathering and growing in the area. On Sunday afternoon drives to visit our grandparents, my siblings and I would gaze along the roadside hoping to catch a glimpse of a deer as we passed. They were always so beautiful and exciting to see. It felt like a rare opportunity.
Today I find a similar situation near my home. But contemporary deer are not shy like those of my youth, and are sometimes found standing in my driveway when I wake in the morning or casually lumbering across the lawn as I walk our dogs. I almost hit one that was standing on the side of the road as I drove home just last night. They’re certainly not as frightened by the approach of humans as I remember their ancestors once were.
Recently, Minnesotan, Steven Peterson, risked his life to save a young deer after it fell through the ice covering a freezing river. He didn’t know how long the poor deer had been stuck in the Kettle River outside of Duluth when he first spotted her but knew that he had to help. Because he is deaf and he thought it would take far too long to explain the situation to a 911 operator, he decided to crawl out across the ice to rescue the deer himself.
Using a tree branch to help distribute his weight across the ice, he managed to tie a rope around the deer’s neck and safely pull the animal, who was covered in ice but had only minor wounds, to shore. He stayed with her for about an hour to make sure the doe, which he’d named “Miss Ice River” could take care of herself before leaving her to return to the forest.
The look on this man’s face as he tells his story, and the way the deer watches him as he does so, is truly heartwarming.
The world needs more Steven Petersons.