New Pair of Antlers
When the young Deer was just a fawn, he had dreamed of having
large antlers when he grew up. He stopped and stared each
time a big stag passed by.
Finally two little bumps appeared on his head and grew and
grew. Soon the Deer had his own antlers. He carried them proudly
all through the autumn. Each time he passed a pond, he would
stop and stare at himself in the quiet water.
But then one winter day something terrible happened. The beautiful
antlers fell off.
The Deer was sad. When he saw his reflection in a pool, he
wanted to hide himself in shame. If only he could find a pair
of antlers somewhere. Then he could hold his head up proudly
One day the Deer was gazing sadly into a pond when his little
friend Squirrel scampered by.
do you look so sad?" Squirrel asked.
you be sad if you lost your antlers?"
The Squirrel cocked his head to one side. "Oh, I thought you
can I do?" moaned the Deer.
don't you grow a new pair?" The Squirrel thought a minute.
"I have just the thing for you." He scampered up to his nest
in a hollow tree and came back with an acorn.
plant this," he said, "and you'll grow a fine big set of antlers."
Then he scampered away up to the tree tops.
The Deer stared at the acorn. He looked around for a place
to plant it. But there was still snow on the ground. "Anyway,"
he thought, "if my new antlers grow out of the ground, what
good would that do?"
He knew that if he put the acorn on the top of his head it
would just fall off. So he ate it.
He waited and waited and waited. For three days he waited.
But nothing happened. The Deer grew sadder and sadder. "I'm
never going to have a new pair of antlers," he sighed.
Just then the Beaver passed by. "Why are you so sad?" he asked.
lost my beautiful antlers," sighed the Deer. He told the Beaver
how he had swallowed an acorn, hoping it would grow him a
new pair of antlers.
The Beaver laughed. "Growing antlers from an acorn never will
work. I have just the thing for you. Come over to my dam."
At the dam at the top of the pond, the Beaver showed the Deer
some fine big trees that he had just cut down. "I don't need
all these branches," the Beaver said. "I'll trim off some
just the right size to make a fine new pair of antlers for
With his big strong teeth the Beaver chewed off two branches
that were just the right size.
look fine," exclaimed the Deer. "They're even bigger than
my old ones. Now how can I put them on?"
afraid you'll have to figure that out for yourself," said
the Beaver. "I've got work to do. I have to go get some more
logs for my dam."
The Deer picked up the branches in his mouth and went off
into the forest. Soon he met a Porcupine.
are fine-looking branches you have there," said the Porcupine.
"Could I have some of the bark? It looks tasty."
need these branches," said the Deer. "They're my new antlers."
look even better when I have them cleaned off for you," said
the Porcupine. And sure enough they did.
While the Porcupine was eating, the Deer told him about his
problem. Could the Porcupine suggest any way to stick the
new antlers onto his head?
about trying some of my quills," said the Porcupine. "You
can pin them on."
that hurt?" asked the Deer.
guess so," said the Porcupine. So the Deer picked up his branches
and went on through the forest. Soon he heard a rat-a-tat-a-
tat sound coming through the trees. He went over to see what
was going on.
There was a Woodpecker, drumming on a tree. "Perhaps you can
help me," said the Deer, and he told the Woodpecker about
have just the thing for you," said the Woodpecker. "It's nearly
spring now, and the sap is starting to run in the sugar maples.
We can stick your antlers on with maple syrup."
The Woodpecker led the Deer over to a sugar maple tree. He
pecked into the bark, and a thin stream of syrup ran out.
He scooped up some and helped the Deer to glue on his new
better stay still for awhile until this dries," he warned.
The Deer lay down under the maple tree. Soon he fell asleep.
When he woke up, the maple syrup had dried. His new antlers
were standing up straight and proud.
He raced through the forest. It felt wonderful to have antlers
again. Soon he reached a pool. He bent over the water to look
at himself. How fine the new antlers looked.
Suddenly the Deer felt a drop of water splash onto his nose.
Then there was another, and another. It was raining. The rainwater
washed away the maple syrup, and with two big plops the branches
fell off the Deer's head into the water.
How unhappy the Deer was. He had lost his antlers again. What
would he do now?
When the water of the pool grew clear, he looked at himself
sadly. Suddenly his eyes grew wide. What was that on top of
his head? There were two bumps there. He was growing a new
pair of antlers.
2013 The Silversteins