Mrs. Green stepped outside into the dew covered grass early Saturday morning. With a basket in her hands, she headed over to the vegetable garden to pick cherry tomatoes. Bartholomew, the box turtle sat on a nearby stump. He seemed to be enjoying the hum of the crickets and waiting for the bright morning sunshine. Mrs. Green snapped off a round, bright red, juicy tomato, and placed it on the stump in front of him. Bartholomew wasted no time. He took a huge bite out of the side of the tomato. He seemed to smile at her, like a child up to some mischief, as the tomato burst open, squirting seeds out of the corners of his mouth.
Ampersand ran a happy lap around the perimeter of the lot. This was his custom every morning. He usually took off, full force out the door, and did not stop sprinting until he checked out every corner of the yard with his own eyes. Today he stopped short just before the stream. He stood very still for a moment and then began to back up a few steps. His eyes were fixed on something. Mrs. Green knew Ampersand had a good eye, and great instincts. She put down her basket, and without a word slowly walked across the grass and stood by his side. Ampersand stood like a statue.
It only took a moment for Mrs. Green to see what Ampersand was looking at. Just over the stream, in a bit of tall grass, lay a very small fawn. It was all curled up in a ball. Its eyes were open, but it did not stir. Ampersand backed up a few steps as if to tell Mrs. Green not to disturb the sweet baby’s morning nap.
Mrs. Green tiptoed into the house and tiptoed back out to the yard with her camera. She kept a respectful distance as she took a few pictures and quietly went inside. The tomato picking could wait. From her kitchen window, she could see where the tall grass lay flat. She watched and waited for the baby’s mama. Mrs. Green knew it was normal for a baby deer to be left while the mother went looking for food. She would keep a watchful eye out anyway. Mrs. Green knew; all mamas need a little help now and then.
Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015
Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.