The Ranger and the Fawn

When we last left Whimsy, in Whimsy meets Muse, he was dangling precariously from a limb over the road awaiting orders from his new supernatural friend Muse to drop onto a passing vehicle. Why on Earth would he want to do that? Sounds a little dangerous.

 

The tiny little fawn instinctively lay motionless, its only defense against this strange approaching creature.

Ranger Horace had a hard day, an unproductive day, a frustrating, dusty and tiresome day and now all he wanted to do was get home to a hot meal. He hadn’t eaten since before sunrise, flying out the door without even a thermos of coffee, reacting to the sound of gunshots echoing down the valley. It was tough times and mountain folk did what they could to get by, even poaching the last of Tennessee’s deer population to provide meat for their family. Ranger Horace could hardly blame them with the price of meat being more than most families in the region could afford, but he had to uphold the laws for the mountains’ sake, for the park’s sake, for the sake of future generations.

He spurred on his 1935 Ford over the rutted forest road, his growling stomach threatening to drown out the rumble and rattles of the Park Service pickup. It was hardly a reasonable method to chase down poachers, who were more than likely on foot and staying far from passable roadways, but the Ranger’s young mare was still very weak from her recent troubled birth of a large colt that unfortunately did not make it. Ranger Horace would get some much needed food and rest tonight then investigate the potential poachers tomorrow. They surely wouldn’t be far from the park’s borders, but they likely wouldn’t be boasting a deer carcass for all to see either.

He rounded the last switchback before getting home when a spot of green caught his eye. A tiny tree frog was suckered to the windshield staring at the Ranger with the intent to hang on and force him to stop. Ranger Horace slammed on the brakes, but the little frog did not budge.

“Well, look at you little guy,” said the Ranger stepping out of his truck and scooping the little tree frog into the palm of his hand.

“No free rides friend,” he said turning and bending to put the frog down in the vegetation at the side of the road. “Off with you now and back to your tree.”

Before he turned back to his truck, the Ranger felt a tingle in his left eye and the hair on the back of his neck stood up like his senses were trying to tell him something. The day was waning fast, but in the fading light he could just make out a mound of something a short distance into the forest.

“What in the world is…” Ranger Horace said to himself slowly stepping off into the forest in the direction of the camouflaged object. “Well, I’ll be. What are you doing here little fella?”

The tiny little fawn instinctively lay motionless, its only defense against this strange approaching creature. With the deer population so close to gone, and poachers in the area, Ranger Horace knew the fawn’s mother was probably dead and the fawn’s chances for survival were slim. The Ranger took off his Park Service jacket and wrapped it around the unprotesting creature. The fawn did not struggle and did not make a sound as the Ranger picked up the little creature and cradled it in his arms. It was either too weak or too afraid.

Ranger Horace gently placed the scared little fawn, still wrapped in his Park Service jacket, on the front seat of his pickup and slid behind the wheel. The fawn only slightly raised her head when the Ranger turned the key and the pickup engine rumbled to life.

 

“Where IS that little frog?” Muse wondered, frantically searching for his green friend as the Ranger started up the truck. “He’s going to miss the ride. Whimsy! Where are you? Whimsy!”

Muse darted in all directions, up, down and all around the pickup looking for the clever amphibian. Black smoke belched from the tailpipe and the vehicle began to move.

“Oh dear,” Muse said, preparing to leave his new friend without a good-bye.

THWOOPP! That recently familiar sound snapped over the rumble of the pickup and Muse felt himself snared and flung against his will once more.

“Gotchya!” Whimsy mused. “You were gonna miss the ride,” he said before spitting Muse out on to the back bumper where the frog was currently suckered.

“I didn’t need the ride,” Muse protested to again being temporarily eaten by his new friend. “I was actually looking for… Oh never mind. Good to see you made it, friend.”

“We did it! Didn’t we?” Whimsy proclaimed. “We saved the little fawn. We make a good team.”

“Yes, we make a good team, little Whimsy, but there is still much to be done. Our poor fawn is not out of the woods just yet.”

“Of course she is,” Whimsy insisted. “She’s with the Ranger man now in this rumble-rumble thing?”

“No, no, I mean figuratively,” Muse tried to explain. “Oh never mind. I mean the fawn is still in danger. She is very weak and needs to be cared for.”

“But you said Ranger man’s mare would take care of her.”

“That is what we will try to make happen,” Muse said reassuringly. “Be patient my friend. Let us see what we can do.”

In the glow of taillights, Whimsy and his supernatural friend Muse rode away into the night toward the second leg of their mission, undetected, on the bumper of the Ranger’s truck.

 

to be continued…

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