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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

                           Firefawn:  A tale by Masochistic Maiden 
                         Silently the fawn stepped into the clearing. It's
                    fur dappled with white blended well with the filtered
                    light coming through the aspens. Here, high in the
                    Cascades, the fawn had greeted spring at its birth only
                    a few weeks ago. Now, its legs were strong and its
                    attitude cautious but playful. It stopped for a few
                    seconds and sniffed the mountain air.   Mother.. her
                    scent on the breeze... was just across the clearing.
                    There were other scents too......fresh shoots of grass,
                    tempting and new... the deep wet smell of the earth...a
                    sharp scent that he was not familiar with lay almost
                    hidden among the other odors. He hesitated, but wanted
                    so much to run to his Mother and drink deeply of her
                    life giving milk. She had been away for a big part of
                    the early morning grazing in a lower clearing. Now that
                    she was returning he could almost taste the warm rich
                    milk. He remianed cautious and took a second step.
                         His mother steped into the clearing oposite him.The
                    sun shined tawny and golden on her back and the early
                    grasses hid her tiny feet in a carpet of lushious green.
                    Her head held high she advanced with prancing steps
                    across the clearing. The wind at her back ruffled the
                    hair along her spine. She advanced across the clearing
                    and the fawn began to almost tremble with anticipation.
                    No longer cautious he leaped into the air and landed
                    with his hooves bunched together then sprang upward
                    again. Switching ends in the air he landed facing away
                    from his mother then quickly pivoted on his hind legs to
                    get her back into his sight. She seemed to take forever
                    to cross that clearing.
                         The wind again brought her scent to him, along with
                    the scent of that pungent but unknown thing. Somehow the
                    scent felt wrong but the fawn had no experience to give
                    him any indication how that scent figured into his
                         His mother was nearly to him now and he frisked
                    across the few steps between them and burried his nose
                    beneath her flank. At that moment his mother caught the
                    faintest hint of the pungent smell that the fawn had
                    noticed. Her large eyes suddenly seemed to be even more
                    alert and her nostrils flared as she turned her head to
                    try and detect the message the scent brought. She had
                    not smelled this smell for a long time but she knew it
                    brought danger. She searched her distant memories... it
                    was not a man smell exactly, but somehow she associated
                    it with man. Pungent and sharp but not strong enough for
                    her to fix. Then the recognition flashed into her...
                    FIRE. The smell was smoke. She and her young fawn were
                    standing knee deep in the dead growth from last years
                    grass. Fire could sweep the understory of shrubs and
                    grasses with terrifying speed. She nudged her fawn and
                    began to move hurridly away from the smell. Upward...
                    the slopes of the mountains called her.
                         She began a slow trot toward the upper slopes,
                    angling toward the river. The scent of smoke grew and
                    soon it was not only a scent, but whisps of gray swirled
                    among the trees in the lower canopy when she looked over
                    her shoulder. Other animals had joined into the retreat
                    as she had traveled. Rabbits now dived between her feet.
                    Other deer, elk and a moose with a calf ran full out
                    past her. She picked up her pace to as much as the fawn
                    could handle. Leaping great distances a buck raced past
                    her. Behind them a raging forest fire was growing. It
                    threatened to overtake the sea of life desperately
                    running for the river.
                         Near the river a lone figure was aware of the
                    coming fire. He had been alerted by the passage of the
                    first few animals and had spotted the smoke high in the
                    air long ago. As he loaded his pack animal and prepared
                    to ford the river he saw that one doe and fawn lagged
                    far behind the other creatures who were preceding the
                    curtain of flames.
                         The doe reached a point between the tall trees that
                    had been blocked by a downed evergreen. Its trunk
                    stretched far and the upper branches reached as far the
                    other direction. This was not impossible for the doe,
                    she could easily jump the downfall. The fawn however
                    might not make the distance. There was no time left. The
                    doe flew over the barrier and hit the ground at a dead
                    run. The fawn, tired already, leaped but failed to reach
                    the top of the massive trunk. it ran left, then right,
                    but there was no way around. It leaped again and again.
                    The smoke of the fire began to fill the space between
                    the tree tops and darken the world where the fawn was
                    trapped between a wall of fire and a wall of unyeilding
                         The doe fled when the smoke and heat became too
                    great. She reached the river and plunged to the other
                    side. A cascade of various creatures flowed over the
                    banks and to safety across the river.
                         The lone man also crossed the river and was filled
                    with sorrow when he did not see the fawn alongside the
                    doe as she pulled herself from the water. There was no
                    way he could return to the flames to rescue the fawn.
                    The evergreens were fully ignited and their heat was
                    easily felt even across the wide river. Running Buck
                    lead his horse and pack pony away from the heat. He'd be
                    a few days late getting back from his hunting trip due
                    to the fire, but it would save him miles to wait for it
                    to cool some and cut through the burnout to his village
                    to the west. He hoped the fire had not disturbed the
                    village or made the tribe move to a new site.
                         During the night a hard rain began to fall. It ran
                    down the roof of Running Buck's leanto in heavy rivers,
                    but it would put out the raging fire and begin to cool
                    the ground. Maybe Running Buck would not be so late.
                         Early in the morning a stand of blackened giants
                    and chared earth was all that greated Running Buck as he
                    reforded the river and began his journey homeward. The
                    trail he was following lead about 30 yards from the
                    downfall that had stopped the fawn. Remembering its
                    panicked eyes, Running Buck was again touched by
                    sadness. He turned his pony toward the last spot he saw
                    the fawn and decided to ride to the spot to say goodby
                    and ease its spirit into summerland and maybe collect
                    its pelt for a pair of mocossins for his daughter.
                         He rode along the massive trunk, once, twice, and
                    did not see the fawn. Just as he was about to turn away
                    he noticed a hollow under a part of the log. He
                    dismounted and carefully approached the hollow. When he
                    peered into the darkness beneath the massive trunk, a
                    tiny hoof was about all he could make out. Figuring the
                    frightened animal had forced itself under the trunk
                    moments before dying of smoke and heat, Running Buck
                    grabbed the hoof to draw the animal out. The pelt should
                    be a good one without any charing.
                         Suddenly the tiny hoof gave a jerk. The fawn was
                    still alive but trapped beneath the log. it had rammed
                    itself so far into the interior that it could not back
                    out on its own. Running Buck pulled hard on the kicking
                    hoof until a smoke streaked, terrified body came into
                    view. He slipped a length of leather cord around the
                    fawn's neck before he freed it from the hollow.
                         Once out from under the massive trunk the fawn
                    tried to spring away from Running Buck, but the leather
                    around its neck held it fast. Soon it stood meekly,
                    breathing hard but resigned to being held. Its tongue
                    hung from the corner of its lips and a light foam
                    followed the upper curve of its mouth. Running Buck
                    decided that any animal who survived the fire must be
                    blessed by the spirits and that he would not use this
                    animals pelt, but instead would take it back to the
                    village and give it to his daughter as a pet.
                         He lashed the fawn to the packframe on his pack
                    pony and rode off toward his village. The fire had left
                    a ugly scar across the foothills, but fortunately had
                    not reached as far as the quiet valley where his
                    tribe were camped.
                         Arriving in the village, Running Buck went first to
                    his family's site and entered the teepee. The lifting of
                    the flap let golden sunshine spill into the interior.
                    His daughter and wife looked up. Little dove, his
                    daughter jumped up suddenly to greet him and sent a bowl
                    of colored beads scattering at her feet from the beading
                    she had been working on. Running Buck swept her into his
                    arms with quick loving hands and told her about the
                    great fire...he told her about the fawn not being able
                    to leap the high tree trunk and being left by its
                    mother. Tears of sorrow came to Little Doves eyes as he
                    described the scene. He turned and carried Little Dove
                    out to the waiting ponies and showed her the fawn who
                    was still alive.
                         Little Does looked at the tiny body with its
                    spotted fur, and the big brown eyes and pink tongue and
                    thought it was the most beautiful animal she had ever
                    seen. Running Buck lifted the fawn down and tied it to
                    the side of the teepee. He left Little Dove to get
                    aquainted with her new friend and went to prepare an
                    animal bladder as a nursing bag for the fawn. The tribe
                    had several ponies giving milk for their foals. Perhaps
                    the fawn could be raised on their milk. He filled the
                    bladder with warm mare's milk and carried it back to
                    Little Dove.
                         She sat on the ground with the fawn gathered into
                    her lap like a puppy stroking its tiny ears and
                    scratching the fur between its eyes. Already the fawn
                    was becomming accoustomed to her gentle touch. She took
                    the bladder full of milk and stuck the end of the
                    protruding spout between her fingers so that the fawn
                    could suck on her fingers and draw milk from the
                    bladder. At first it turned away from the strange scent
                    of the mare's milk, but finally thirst overcame its fear
                    and it began to suck.
                         "Well," said Running Buck,"It looks like your young
                    friend may make it. Perhaps you should name it now."
                         "I already have." responded Little Dove. "I will
                    call it Firefawn, because he came from the fire."
                         Firefawn grew into a strong young buck during the
                    summer he spent with the tribe and made so many friends
                    among the tribe that they kept him with the ponies over
                    the winter.
                         When spring came again and it was time to let
                    Firefawn return to the wild. Running Buck made him a
                    bright red collar of leather so that none of the tribe
                    would accidently shoot him as he grazed among the trees.
                    For many years the deer with the red collar was seen by
                    members of the tribe and whenever they saw him they knew
                    their hunt would be successful. Firefawn became the lead
                    buck of a large herd of deer.
                         Running Buck and Little Dove's kindness returned to
                    help feed the tribe for many winters.
                         So in life, all that we do returns to us. Good for
                    good and bad for bad. Let good be what returns to your life.

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