by Abby Gayle
A girl follows a deer into the forest
|I buried a seed in my gardening area and doused the small hill with water. I moved on to the next hole, and the next, and the next, following the same pattern. Dig, drop, heap, water. It was a soothing rhythm for me.
My mother, father, and I lived on the edge of a forest, so when a deer came running towards my family's house I wasn't surprised. She was making a sound I had heard before, on occasion, that sounded like a gruff scream or a bleat, or perhaps a mixture of the two.
The deer ran towards me, then away a few yards, back and forth several times before I decided I should follow her. I didn't know if it was a good idea or even really why I had run after her when she finally took off, but at the time I felt like I should, so I did.
It was hard to keep up, but I managed to keep the white tail in my sight. I thought maybe she knew I couldn't run as fast as she could, but I couldn't be sure.
We ran for a few minutes before she stopped. I looked on ahead, but there was a large forest fire. From inside the region of the flame, I heard a faint bleat. I identified it right away as a fawn.
“That's why you wanted help,” I said, looking at the deer.
I knew I had to do something, but my house was too far away and I wasn't sure who to tell if I did get there before the baby deer was burnt to a crisp, or if anyone would do anything in time. I decided I should at least try to rescue the fawn.
I could hear the faint sound of a river over the fire blazing. I ran toward the rushing water and dove in, getting myself and all my clothes thoroughly soaked. Then I swam out and courageously stepped into the flames.
I ran through the fire with no thought as of my own safety. I dodged several burning branches and hopped over a root just starting to catch on fire. I navigated my way to the fawn that was still crying out.
I finally got to where the sound was coming from and saw the fawn, surrounded by flames. I had expected the baby deer to be larger, so I was surprised at his size. I picked him up and cradled it in my still-wet arms.
I ran back as quickly as I could while holding the six-pound animal and not dropping him. As I ran, I hoped I was heading in the correct direction. Once far enough from the fire, I set the fawn down.
I ran back to my house and called the fire department to let them know there was a forest fire. When I came back outside, the deer was there again. She ran back and forth as she had when she first came.
Is there another fawn in trouble? I wondered.
Just in case, I followed her again. However, this time she lead me to a different location. Here there was a large rock. The rock was almost sphere and it was about four feet tall. From so much running, I needed a rest, so I leaned against the boulder.
Suddenly, I heard a voice.
“Does it work?” I heard.
I spun around, but all I saw was the deer.
“Who said that?” I asked.
“The deer?” I asked, raising my eyebrow.
“Yes, me,” I heard the deer, “This boulder grants one person the ability to understand all of the animals in this forest. I was given permission to bring you here because you saved my baby.”
“Only I can do that?” I asked.
“Yes. I am Runner. The fawn you saved was my little Prancer.”
“I've got to go,” I told the mother deer, “I have to get back home before my mother starts worrying about where I am. I will come back, though.”
The deer appeared to nod her head in understanding as I headed back home.