It had been a busy week. The Green’s waited and waited for the mama deer to return. They knew a mother deer often left a baby for about six hours to look for food. After ten hours passed they decided they would need to help. They did a bit of research and bought some goats milk. Mr. Green gave Mrs. Green the warm bottle. She was careful as she approached the doe. The baby popped right up and came over to Mrs. Green. It was famished and drank the bottle quickly. Mrs. Green tiptoed back to the kitchen window with the empty bottle in her hand. The baby deer returned to its spot in the tall grass.
By Sunday night Mr. Green decided he would put up a garden fence around the baby just to prevent anyone from disturbing it. It came to them willingly when the bottle was presented but then returned to its spot on the ground, like an obedient child waiting for its mother.
The Green’s were busy taking turns bottle feeding the baby all week long. Everyone came and went in and out of the Green’s as if it were a normal week. They were all curious and enamored by the sweet baby deer, all curled up in the back of the lot, by the stream. Juliette was particularly enchanted by it. She swung on the hammock and sang to it in French on Tuesday morning when she came to visit. “Will you keep it forever, and ever?” She asked Mrs. Green hopefully. Mrs. Green said they were just looking after it for its mama. As much as Mrs. Green wanted to see the doe’s mama return, she was enjoying the little doe and the late night feedings.
Carson climbed up to the tippy top of the climbing tree on Wednesday, and looked out with his binoculars to see if he saw any deer in the distance. While everyone thought the deer was cute, Carson felt bad for it. “You can tell she is waiting. She keeps going back to the same spot. It’s like she was told to stay there.” Mrs. Green liked this side of Carson. He had a lot of empathy for others. She knew this would serve him well as he grew up.
Thursday music practice consisted of soft lullabies in the backyard. The tiny doe was lulled off to sleep only to be woken up again as soon as the singing stopped. No one wanted to leave when it was time to go. They stayed on and did homework and ate pizza by the stream. They looked on with curiosity as Mrs. Green gave the baby its evening bottle.
Friday night Sylvia and Sam came over. They were having a nice evening when about 9:00 it began to rain. It started off soft at first and then it poured. The wind blew and big raindrops covered the yard. As quickly as the storm began it stopped. Mrs. Green asked Mr. Green to go check on the deer. When he opened the back yard he heard something. It was a strange cry. They all ran to the door. In spite of the storm the night was lit by the moon. They looked out by the stream and much to their surprise they saw the mother deer standing right by the garden fence with the baby beside it. The mother was calling to the baby and the baby obeyed. It backed up and leapt over the fence with little to no effort at all. Off they ran into the night. They were both gone in the blink of an eye. The Greens, Sylvia, and Sam, all stood at the door in a daze. They were so happy the mama came back and so sad the babysitting was over. There didn’t seem to be much more to say. Sylvia and Sam went home and the Greens went up to bed. They felt all mixed up inside. Where had the mother been and why did it take her so long to come back? As she tried to go off to sleep Mrs. Green was happy and sad all at the same time.
Saturday morning Mr. and Mrs. Green went outside and crossed the stream. As they began to take down the small fence, they were startled by a rustling in the distance. They looked up from their work. Much to their surprise, several yards away, they saw the mother and the baby standing side by side in the tall grass. The mother stood tall, proud, and perfectly still. She looked Mrs. Green directly in the eye as if to say, thank you. Mr. Green noticed this to. Then the two deer leapt off into the distance and they were gone again. Mrs. Green began to cry and Mr. Green came and put his arms around her. “I know” he said. “They are happy tears.” Mrs. Green insisted. Mr. Green just held her and said, “I know.”
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.