Jody allowed his thoughts to drift back to the fawn. He
could not keep it out of his mind. He had held it, in his
dreams, in his arms. He slipped from the table and went
to his father's bedside. Penny lay at rest. His eyes were
open and clear, but the pupils were still dark and dilated.
Jody said, "How are you feeling, Pa?"
"Just fine, son. O1d Death has gone thieving elsewhere.
But wasn't it a close shave!"
Penny said, "I'm proud of you, boy, the way you kept
your head and did what was needed."
can never forget them. The poor doe saved me,
"Pa, the fawn may be out there yet. It might be hungry
and very scared."
"I suppose so."
"Pa, I'm a big boy now and don't need to drink milk.
Why don't I go and see if I can find the fawn?"
"And bring it here?"
"And raise it."
Penny lay quiet, staring at the ceiling.
"Boy, you've got me hemmed in."
"It won't take much to raise it, Pa. It'll soon start
eating leaves and acorns."
"You are smarter than boys of your age."
"We took its mother, and it wasn't to blame."
"Surely it seems ungrateful to leave it to starve. Son, I can't
say 'No' to you. I never thought I'd live to see another day."
"Can I ride back with Mill-wheel and see if I can
"Tell your Ma I said you can go."
He sidled back to the table and sat down. His mother
was pouring coffee for everyone.
He said, "Ma, Pa says I can go bring back the fawn."
She held the coffee pot in mid-air.
"The fawn belonging to the doe we killed. We used
the doe's liver to draw out the poison and save Pa."
"Well, for pity sake—"
"Pa says it would be ungrateful to leave it to starve."
Doc Wilson said, "That's right, Ma'am. Nothing in
the world comes quite free. The boy's right and his
Mill-wheel said, "He can ride back with me. I'll help
him find it."
She set down the pot helplessly.
"Well, if you'll give it your milk—we've got nothing
else to feed it."
Mill-wheel said, "Come on, boy. We've got to get
Ma Baxter asked anxiously,
"You'll not be gone long?"
Jody said, "I'll be back
before dinner for sure. "
Mill-wheel mounted his
horse and pulled Jody up
He said to Mill-wheel,
"Do you think the fawn's
still there? Will you help
me find him?"
"We'll find him if he's
alive. How you know it's a
"The spots were all in a line. On a doe-fawn, Pa says
the spots are every which way…"
Jody gave himself over to thoughts of the fawn. They
passed the abandoned clearing.
He said, "Cut to the north, Mill-wheel. It was up here
that Pa got bitten by the snake and killed the doe and I
saw the fawn."
Suddenly Jody was unwilling to have Mill-wheel with
him. If the fawn was dead, or could not be found, he
could not have his disappointment seen. And if the fawn
was there, the meeting would be so lovely and so secret
that he could not endure to share it.
He said, "It's not far now, but the scrub is very thick
for a horse. I can make it on foot."
"But I'm afraid to leave you, boy. Suppose you got
lost or got bitten by the snake, too?"
"I'll take care. It might take me a long time to find
the fawn, if he's wandered. Leave me off right here."
"All right, but you take it easy now. You know north
here, and east?"
"There, and there. That tall pine makes a bearing."
"So long, Mill-wheel. I'm obliged."
He waited for the sound of the hooves to end, then
cut to the right. The scrub was still. Only his own
crackling of twigs sounded across the silence. He
wondered for an instant if he had mistaken his direction.
Then a buzzard rose in front of him and flapped into
the air. He came into the clearing under the oaks.
Buzzards sat in a circle around the carcass of the doe.
They turned their heads on their long scrawny necks
and hissed at him. He threw his bough at them and
they flew into an adjacent tree. The sand showed large
cat prints but the big cats killed fresh, and they had
left the doe to the carrion birds.
He parted the grass at the place where he had seen
the fawn. It did not seem possible that it was only
yesterday. The fawn was not there. He circled the
clearing. There was no sound, no sign. The buzzards
clacked their wings, impatient to return to their
business. He returned to the spot where the fawn had
emerged and dropped on all fours, studying the sand
for the small hoof prints. The night's rain had washed
away all tracks except those of cat and buzzards.
Movement directly in front of him startled him so that
he tumbled backward. The fawn lifted its face to his. It
turned its head with a wide, wondering motion and
shook him through with the stare of its liquid eyes. It
was quivering. It made no effort to rise or run. Jody
could not trust himself to move.
He whispered, "It's me."
The fawn lifted its nose, scenting him. He reached
out one hand and laid it on the soft neck. The touch
made him delirious. He moved forward on all fours until
he was close beside it. He put his arms around its body.
A light convulsion passed over it but it did not stir.
He stroked its
sides as gently as
though the fawn
were a china deer
and he might
break it. Its skin
was very soft. It
was sleek and
clean and had a
sweet scent of
grass. He rose
slowly and lifted
the fawn from
the ground. Its legs hung limply. They were surprisingly
long and he had to hoist the fawn as high as possible
under his arm.
He was afraid that it might kick and bleat at sight
and smell of its mother. He skirted the clearing and
pushed his way into the thicket. It was difficult to fight
through with his burden. The fawn's legs caught in the
bushes and he could not lift his own with freedom. He
tried to shield its face from prickling vines. Its head
bobbed with his stride. His heart thumped with the
marvel of its acceptance of him. He reached the trail
and walked as fast as he could until he came to the
intersection with the road home. He stopped to rest and
set the fawn down on its dangling legs. It wavered on
them. It looked at him and bleated.
He said, enchanted, "I'll carry you after I get my breath."
He remembered his father saying that a fawn would
follow if it had first been carried. He started away slowly.
The fawn stared after him. He came back to it and
stroked it and walked away again. It took a few wobbling
steps toward him and cried piteously. It was willing to
follow him. It belonged to him. It was his own. He was
light-headed with his joy. He wanted to fondle it, to run
and romp with it, to call to it to come to him. He dared
not alarm it. He picked it up and carried it in front of
him over his two arms. It seemed to him that he walked
His arms began to ache and he was forced to stop
again. When he walked on, the fawn followed him at
once. He allowed it to walk a little distance, then picked
it up again. The distance home was nothing. He could
have walked all day and into the night, carrying it and
watching it follow. He was wet with sweat but a light
breeze blew through the June morning, cooling him.
The sky was as clear as spring water in a blue china
cup. He came to the clearing. It was fresh and green
after the night's rain. He fumbled with the latch and
was finally obliged to set down the fawn to manage it.
Then, he had an idea — he would walk into the house,
into Penny's bedroom, with the fawn walking behind
him. But at the steps, the fawn balked and refused to
climb them. He picked it up and went to his father.
Penny lay with closed eyes.
Jody called, "Pa! Look!"
Penny turned his head. Jody stood beside him, the
fawn clutched hard against him. It seemed to Penny
that the boy's eyes were as bright as the fawn's. He
said, "I'm glad you found him."
Jody then went to the kitchen. The fawn wobbled
after him. A pan of morning's milk stood in the kitchen
safe. The cream had risen on it. He skimmed the cream
into a jug. He poured milk into a small gourd. He held
it out to the fawn. It butted it suddenly, smelling the
milk. He saved it precariously from spilling over the
floor. It could make nothing of the milk in the gourd.
He dipped his fingers in the milk and thrust them
into the fawn's soft wet mouth. It sucked greedily. When
he withdrew them, it bleated frantically and butted him.
He dipped his fingers again and as the fawn sucked, he
lowered them slowly into the milk. The fawn blew and
sucked and snorted. It stamped
its small hoofs impatiently. As
long as he held his fingers below
the level of the milk, the fawn was
content. It closed its eyes
dreamily. It was ecstasy to feel its
tongue against his hand. Its small
tail flicked back and forth. The
last of the milk vanished in a
swirl of foam and gurgling.
The Duck and the Kangaroo.
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo,
'Good gracious! how you hop!
Over the fields and the water too,
As if you never would stop!
My life is a bore in this nasty pond,
And I long to go out in the world beyond!
I wish I could hop like you!'
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.
'Please give me a ride on your back!'
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.
'I would sit quite still, and say nothing but "Quack,"
The whole of the long day through!
And we'd go to the Dee, and the Jelly Bo Lee,
Over the land, and over the sea; —
Please take me on a ride! O do!'
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.
Said the Kangaroo to the Duck,
'This requires a little reflection;
Perhaps on the whole it might bring me luck,
And there seems but one objection,
Which is, if you'll let me speak so bold,
Your feet are unpleasantly wet and cold,
And would probably give me the roo-
Matiz!' said the Kangaroo.
Said the Duck, 'As I sat on the rocks,
I have thought over that completely,
And I bought four pairs of worsted socks
Which fit my web-feet neatly.
And to keep out the cold I've bought a cloak,
And every day a cigar I'll smoke,
All to follow my own dear true
Love of a Kangaroo!'
Said the Kangaroo, 'I'm ready!
All in the moonlight pale,
But to balance me well, dear Duck, sit steady!
And quite at the end of my tail!'
So away they went with a hop and a bound,
And they hopped the whole world three times round;
And who so happy, - O who,
As the Duck and the Kangaroo?
A February Surprize.
The trees are still asleep today
And do not seem to know
A storm came by last night and heaped
Their branches full of snow.
See how they start up with surprise
As one by one they wake.
"Why, gracious me!" they seem to say,
And give themselves a shake.
Online Lessons with Spoken text and correct pronounciation