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The Fawn

“Tell me a story, grandpa,” Whispered Charlotte.

The air was cold, colder than the first frost, perhaps even colder than winter itself. But that did not stop an upbeat fawn from prancing across the cold winter landscape. Her eyes were bright with wonder, welcoming the still, picturesque world that unraveled before her. Ivory trees swayed to the soft melody of the forest and conserved their remaining energy for the nighttime. Sleep clouded her bright eyes as the forest embraced her in its soft depths. As night began to surround her, she placed her head on the snow-covered ground beneath her. It was not until she was completely consumed by this drowsy feeling that her world began to spin, traveling through the dreamscape of imagination, through the forest of near and faraway lands.

The fawn stood alone and confused, as the still woods creaked and the trees around her woke from their restless slumber. But she soon realized that she was not alone and many other animals were just waiting to be painted across the land. The air filled with warmth and petals began to sprout out the budding blossoms. Leaves flew along the horizon back and forth until all the trees were covered in unimaginable colors.

As soon as turmoil came, it left and things began to settle into their newly created state. It would stay like this for as long as she wished. On shaky legs, she stood up to welcome the changes around her. The ground was no longer snow-covered. Quite the opposite: it was now a colorful blend of moss and chocolate brown that dampened the crisp lines of an industrialized world. With every step, the forest floor sprang softly to meet the soles of her dark hooves. Stretching up to a near tree she grasped a tender leaf between her teeth and chewed steadily, staring across the land. Suddenly, a rustle behind a nearby tree startled her and caused her to leap up as high as she could, before crashing back down to the ground, frozen with fear. A small squirrel sprinted out from behind the tree and up to the highest branch, glancing down at the small deer. She looked up with relief and continued crunching down the sweet leaves.

The fawn noticed a small log house in the distance. She had not seen such a thing before and at that moment, she questioned whether or not she should give in to her curiosity. After a moment of contemplating her next move, she began walking towards the small house. As she got closer, the building grew to an intimidating size but that did not stop her. Two small frosted windows glowed in the darkening light, with a large oak door set between them. Peering through the window, she saw a small boy sitting on a large leather chair by a lit candle drawing a winter wonderland. A circle of condensation began to form on the glass surrounding her muzzle. The boy looked up from his drawing and slowly approached the window, reaching out to touch her muzzle through the glass. She jumped back startled. The boy looked confused but remained there. Surprised, the fawn slowly re-approached the window—the boy did not move, before yet again touching the cold glass. They remained there staring at each other with curiosity and confusion, both wondering what the other was thinking. “Tommy, come help me with the cookies,'' the boy’s mom shouted. He turned to answer his mother before looking back and noticing that the deer was gone.

Charlotte woke up in her Grandpa's log cabin. Grandpa got up from the chair balancing himself on the armrest and pointed to the lone painting depicting a fawn on a warm spring day before saying, “that was the first time I ever saw a deer.” The children observed the painting with wonder, but Charlotte looked out the window into the snowy haze wondering what happened to the fawn.

“We best be getting home now. It’s getting late,” suggested her mother.

“Just one more story, please grandpa,” insisted Charlotte.

“Perhaps, another day.”


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