A short tale from a Deers point of view as he observes change to his home.
|The change by Dayna Ferguson
In five short days, our beautiful trees were gone. Another winter had past, and the last snow, on the ground, still melting, drained on to the cool earth giving life to the creeks which fed the river in the valley far below. The bare branches, and brisk air would soon give way to warm days and lush foliage. This is the time in which deer grazed, and bear foraged. Birds broke the silence of winter with song and the beating of their wings. All that shared the forest quietly stirred as they had for untold turns of the seasons. But this season would be different. The change began with a tapping that echoed through the air. While unseen, by both deer and squirrel, they could both feel it under foot. To Deer it sounded like a woodpecker but slower. And soon a few more unfamiliar sounds low and rhythmic in tone seemed to follow the pounding. Deer could see no danger so ignored it at first until he spy-ed Squirrel and his family racing deeper into the dark of the forest. They were in such a pace they never gave deer a second thought. Later, the tapping stopped for a while. Then after some silence there came the sound of breaking branches followed by the thud of a tree falling to the ground, and shortly after that another. Trees fall all the time thought deer, yet he felt this was different. There were simply too many falling.That was day one.
Shortly after sunrise, while enjoying breakfast the next day, there began growling and loud grinding sounds. At the start, of which, many birds fled. Deer could see them high overhead like squirrel, moving away into deeper forest. Deers' ears then perked up and with curiosity turned, eyes unblinking, in the direction of the change. With no consideration of what he would find he went to see. He stopped at the edge of the new clearing. Still, he looked on as metal monsters growling moved about, some pushing the trees over while other lifted them and still others moved them away. Deer had seen people before but these were different. They did not sit in the shade nor on blankets. They scurried about barking at each other as they removed the trees they had killed. As the second day ended deer braved a closer look as the people had cleared the land which now smelled different, and he wanted to examine it. He was curious about all the sticks with markings which the people had left. They had the smell of men on them and on everything. The monsters he'd seen earlier stood still and seemed asleep, as they no longer filled the air with smoke or growled. Deer left them and found a soft place to rest as night began to fall.
Early On the third day, deer was awakened by a rumbling felt through the ground, followed shortly by more monsters but moving huge forms on their backs. They seemed as mountains to Deer, and out of some fear, he watched further away. Trees continued to fall under the persuasive nature of the tools of these people. Deer peered on as the forest he'd known all his life, as his home changed before his eyes.
Deer could only look on.
Day four. There's much yelling between the people as they gathered at all sides of one of the behemoths and having lifting it into the air slowly planted it into the ground. Deer stood fixed, stunned, surprised. Bear arrived quietly behind deer looking on. The fear Deer normally had toward the approach of Bear gave way to a deep curiosity and desire to make sense of what was happening before him. But, Bear just looked on, having seen man before, glanced at deer then turning dismissive, headed for the deep forest without looking back. Bear having seen the ways of man before knew it was time to move on and did so.
One the fifth morning, which was cold. Deer having come back again to spy, found several behemoths planted and quietly standing where once trees stood that provided food, habitat and cover for creatures large and small, were replaced by behemoths for a few. And they never asked us, Would it be OK to change it.
Then Deer stood silent a moment amid the behemoths taking a long and last look, before the people returned. He blinked, recalling the forest once more, as it was before they came, then he too, turned toward the deep forest and moved on.
Word count 759