by Cynthia A. Jensen
Once upon a time there was a family of deer who lived in the forest, and enjoyed grazing and playing, jumping and climbing. The forest was a safe place where they could live their lives in peace and harmony.
The day came when all they had known was suddenly in danger. A house, deep in the woods, became occupied by a small family of humans. The deer were afraid and ran off. But then one of the younger deer, Johnathan, stopped running and turned back toward the house. There he saw two tall humans and one shorter one.
Johnathan crept with care through the field behind the house and peered into a window. Through the glass, he saw the humans moving boxes around. The littlest one looked out the window at the same time Johnathan was looking in.
The girl mumbled something to her parents, and then they all went out the front door and came around to where Johnathan stood. Their eyes were wide. Johnathan froze in fear.
The girl made low, comforting sounds and held her hand out to Johnathan. He still couldn’t move as the girl took tentative steps towards him. He knew he should run, felt that instinct deep inside him. But for some reason, his feet wouldn’t budge. As the girl drew closer, her parents cautioned her, but she placed a hand on Johnathan’s head anyway. She could feel him shivering, though it was warm outside.
With fear in their eyes they suddenly turned to the deer, pushing them back to the forest. Johnathan couldn’t understand what was happening. They were having fun, and then…
She spoke to him calmly as she moved her hand over his neck. He looked at her kind eyes and slowly nuzzled her with his nose. These people weren’t going to harm him. Why the other deer were so afraid of humans, he didn’t know.
The parents came over to their daughter and also placed their hands on Johnathan. He nuzzled them as well.
Johnathan heard a call coming from the forest and looked toward the sound. He could see his deer family beckoning to him, but he called for them to come to him instead.
Hesitantly, they made their way around the trees, and by the time the girl finished counting, there were eleven deer surrounding them. The humans were laughing and petting and having a great time. The deer were bellowing and walking among the humans.
A sudden, sharp noise silenced the group of animals and humans. The man spoke loudly to his family, and with fear in their eyes they suddenly turned to the deer, pushing them back to the forest. Johnathan couldn’t understand what was happening. They were having fun, and then…
With his family, he tore through the forest, away from the humans. There were more loud sounds, which made them run faster. When they finally stopped, Johnathan asked his parents why the family had driven them off.
“The humans you know are good,” they told him. “The humans we know are bad.”
“But dad, why can’t they all be good?”
“That’s a good question, son. That’s a good question.”
Cynthia A. Jensen is a Tier II Rising Star Author at ChapterBuzz, and author of Starrbodies, a thriller novel-in-progress about a man who kidnaps a fitness guru to help his depressed sister lose weight.
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