Christmas For Little Deer
would be no Christmas for the little deer. For how could a
little deer have Christmas without a mother? She was gone
now -- forever.
It was only yesterday that he was playing with her in the
Big Forest. But suddenly she left him, hidden in the bushes.
She dashed off. There was a loud sound. Then another and another.
The little deer waited and waited. But she never came back.
The squirrels were busily getting their Christmas nuts together.
The rabbits were trimming the Christmas tree with wild carrots
and turnips. Birds swooped gaily back and forth, adding bright
berries to the tree. Even the red fox was caught by the Christmas
feeling. He did not chase the mice and quails he could have
caught with ease.
help us trim the tree!" called the animals to the young deer.
"This is Christmas Eve."
But the little deer did not answer. He just lay there with
his head down and his eyes closed. He was too sad to hear
the chirping of the birds and the chattering of the squirrels.
The animals of the Big Forest were worried about the little
deer. Wasn't there anything they could do?
That afternoon, while the little deer was at the pond getting
a drink of water, he heard a tiny cry, "Help! Help! I'm drowning!"
A wood mouse was floating in the middle of the pond, clinging
to a leaf. Without thinking about it, the little deer plunged
into the pond. He swam over to the mouse, and she climbed
onto his nose. She clung there, safe, while he swam back to
When the little deer got back to the bank, all the other animals
were there, waiting for him. "You are a hero! You are a hero!"
they cried. "Come to the Christmas tree! Let us celebrate."
For a moment the little deer felt happy. But then he remembered.
His mother was gone. So he walked off, alone, into the forest.
The other animals did not know what to do. Their plan had
not worked. One by one they went to see the little deer. "Won't
you please come to the Christmas tree?" each one urged.
Finally, the wisest of them all, the great white owl, went
to see the little deer. "I know you are sad," he said. "I
know you loved your mother, and nothing will be the same again.
But come to the Christmas tree tonight. Perhaps the Christmas
Spirit will bring you what you need."
All the animals of the Big Forest watched and waited. They
could not have a truly happy Christmas unless the little deer
could share it with them. At last the little deer got up and
slowly walked to the Christmas tree. He lay down under its
branches and waited.
The moon came out. Perched on a branch nearby, the owl gazed
at the Christmas tree. "Something is missing," he thought.
He turned his head from side to side. In the distance, something
sparkled on the ground. The owl flew down to see what it was.
It was a shiny stone that gleamed like a diamond. He picked
it up in his beak and carried it to the very top of the Christmas
tree. There a spider helped him to fasten it firmly to the
tree. It shone in the moonlight like a star.
below the little deer lay and waited. There came to the Big
Forest that night another deer. There would be no Christmas
for this deer, too. For how could a mother deer have Christmas
when she had lost her fawn? She had lost her fawn in a terrible
fire. There was no home for her now.
In the distance she saw a sparkling light. She began to move
toward it, through the Big Forest. Closer and closer she came.
little deer had fallen asleep under the Christmas tree. He
felt a soft nose nuzzling him. He felt a warm tongue licking
him. He opened his eyes. He would no longer be alone now.
No more would he feel the coldness of the nights. He stood
up and pressed himself to her side.
Gathered around the Christmas tree, the animals of the Big
Forest whispered happily to each other.
2013 The Silversteins