Tuesday, November 15, 2011

 Little Brave
Gleefully, Little Brave runs beneath the branches of trees that are hundreds of years old. He climbs over moss covered  ones that smell strong of the good earth. He lives in a forest. The name of his tribe is of no importance here in this tale of wild and free living. Little Brave could be of any tribe of this earth and the circumstances would apply just the same.

     He at this moment in time is watching a hidden fawn. Its mother is not far away munching the grass near a large boulder. Little Brave does not wish to harm the fawn, but he does want to pet it. Inch by inch he quietly moves toward the baby deer. Now he stretches out a hand to the top of its soft head. It doesn’t move, at first. But then, it’s all legs as it lurches and tumbles forward fighting to rise and flee.

     Little Brave has never come upon so small a fawn before. He says, “Shush, little one. Quiet now.” The ten-year-old moves forward quickly and gathers the little animal to his chest in a tight embrace. It feels so warm in Little Brave’s arms. He runs a hand down the back of its head and neck. He places his cheek on the hot little head. He kisses it several times.

     He’d already decided he’d take the fawn with him when he left. He couldn’t give it up. It was too good of a sensation having the fawn in his arms. It would be his, belong to him alone. He would give it pony milk and care well for the little forest animal.

     And so the boy and the deer leave the mother deer while she contentedly munches sweet grass. Little Brave rubs his chin on the top of the deer’s head and talks in a low voice to sooth it. About half way home, Little Brave senses he’s being followed. It was more than sensing; he heard twigs pop, foot falls and grunting noises.

       At the next curve in the path, Little Brave speeds his steps and chances a glimpse over his shoulder. “No!” he breathes out to himself in a low, shaky voice.   “Oh no! Oh no!” Little Brave said aloud; and to himself,  he said over and over, “It’s a hairy man!” (Little Brave’s tribe called bigfoots, hairy men.) It wasn’t often one saw one of these giants. Little Brave had never until today seen one. He shifted the fawn to his other arm. He held it across the front of his body much like some women carry a baby but the fawn's legs pointed straight up. The fawn weighed more with each step Little Brave took. He was now on a steep grade going up. The crest was in sight.

     Cougar-like screams, too close, rattled Little Braves thinking. The distance to the top of the hill seemed forever. The fawn jerked all four of its spindly legs and fought to roll over in Little Brave’s arms as the screams vibrated the pungent forest air.

     “What was it with this hairy man? Did he want the fawn for his dinner? Did he want me and the fawn?” Little Brave’s brain wouldn’t stop with the questions.

     No help for it, he had to get rid of the jittery fawn to save himself. The giant’s odor was overwhelming. Little Brave knew she was very close. On the run, he dropped the fawn into a nest of thick moss. Next, he found himself flat on his stomach. He’d glanced back for just a long second. (This was when he took note that the hairy man was not a male but a female.) He tripped, stumbled forward and finally landed flat with chin in the hard trail dirt.

     As he fell, his eyes caught a whirlwind of activity. And then quiet. Dust and dark fur settled to the ground. Little Brave’s eyes stung from the dust (he told himself). His nose was running. He slapped at his eyes and wiped his nose with the back of his hand. Mortified that he was crying like a girl, he got to his feet and hurried with much courage to where he could see the hairy being back down the trail.

     The hairy female, bent from the waist, with palms forward, was gently shooing the frightened fawn back down the trail.

     A crazy thought came to Little Brave:  Could it be, that the female giant was returning the fawn to its mother?

The End

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