Lydia Miles and her parents were not having much luck.
The Beaufort family had headed out on a fishing trip on a scorching July Saturday morning on the water near St. Helena Island. They held on to high hopes of bringing in a significant catch. But three hours later, the sun was still blazing and the boat remained nearly empty.
Their total haul: A pitiful two or three fish, Miles, a nurse, remembered.
The family was ready to leave. But they decided to try one more spot, just in case.
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That’s when they noticed a doe walking down the bank, just across from them.
As soon as Miles saw the fawn following its mother into the water, she quickly pulled out her phone camera.
Miles and her parents, James and Knola Miles, assumed that the deer would simply swim to the other side of the river — a quick crossover, so to speak. But then the deer turned around and swam back to the other side.
Mom stepped out onto the bank. Baby stayed in. Then, to the amazement of the Miles crew, the little one started swimming over to the boat.
Miles handed her phone to her mother and bent over the boat to look at the fawn.
“I wasn’t sure what to do, because I was worried about what the mom would do,” Miles said.
But she could tell that once the fawn got to the boat, it was struggling to swim. So she picked it up.
“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” Miles repeated, smile wide and eyes wide too, as if she couldn’t quite believe what she was doing.
After a few moments, she put the baby deer back into the water. The fawn didn’t seem to like that. It swam around a bit more — and then headed back to the boat.
Miles picked the deer up again.
“He didn’t seem worried, he seemed calm,” she said.
But, as tempting as it was to hold onto the little deer forever, she knew she couldn’t do that. So the Miles family took the fawn over to the bank, and watched as mother and baby headed back into the forest.
“Nature can be very unexpected,” Miles said. “It’s one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me.”