Friday, September 28, 2012

The Deer and the Dolphin: A Love Story

The end...not really. The beginning...most likely.

Once upon a time there was a Deer who had become lost in a deep, dark forest. He was wandering and wandering, far from home. There were no familiar scents or sounds. This Deer was feeling very lonely and really sad.

One morning, when the sky was very cloudy and sun was lost somewhere beyond, Deer was visited by a Spirit Voice. Spirit had come to save Deer from being lost but more importantly, he or she came to save Deer from losing his life. Spirit knew Deer was very lost and needed help to find his way back home.

Surprisingly, Spirit encouraged Deer to visit a strange land. Spirit told Deer that this strange land was far from the places Deer had known. Even though Deer was lost, he was told he could get to this new place by following the path described by Spirit. It would take day and night and then some more time. It would not be an easy journey. Deer decided to go.

When Deer arrived in the new land, he still felt lost. It was a very strange place. There were parts of this new land that he liked and remembered, perhaps from another life. However, his only friend was the Spirit Voice whom he rarely saw. He wondered why he had even come to this strange and lonely place. He was reminded on a daily basis. 

One day Deer, who was both forlorn and sad, came to a large, friendly looking tree. He wondered if the tree could hold answers to his dilemma and situation. He laid down beneath the tree and feel asleep. While he was sleeping he dreamed that he actually climbed the tree. When he woke up it occurred to him that perhaps he should try to climb the tree. He walked around it and looked up through the branches toward the top. The top was far away because the tree was a really big tree. He shook his head thinking that he could never climb the tree. After all, deer do not climb trees. He certainly had never even tried to climb a tree. Yet inexplicably, he decided to try and climb it.

Deer knew it was a difficult and challenging task... a deer climbing a tree? He tried anyway. He grabbed the lower branches with his legs and pushed himself up using his rear legs by stepping up the huge trunk of the tree. Once he got to a branch, he hugged it for deer life. He almost fell several times. He was about to give up. It was way too hard. There was no way he could make it up far enough for the tree to help him. He was more sad, lonely and lost than ever before.The difference was that he was now up a tree without an escape plan.

So, Deer thought…where was Spirit Voice? Spirit was no where to be seen or heard. Deer was stuck in the tree. He could not climb higher nor could he climb down. He was clinging to a branch. He was dangerously perched on the branch looking down at the surface below. He realized it was water he was looking at. He glanced out a large body of water. It was a lake. Although he could swim some, he was not a good swimmer. He was very scared. Why had Spirit abandoned him? Why had Spirit brought Deer to this land in the first place?

Suddenly, a big gust of wind came up and the tree began to shake. The sky became dark and some lightening was followed by the booming sound of thunder. Now, he was really, really scared. In fact, Deer had never been this scared in his life.

He could not move up or down nor forward or backward. He was just frozen in place! As the wind grew more intense, the tree began to shake more as if it were a blade of grass in a tornado.

This predicament felt like the end of the world to Deer. Just then, a huge blast of wind shook the tree so hard that the branch that Deer was straddling broke and Deer began falling helplessly toward the lake below. If he survived the fall, the water would be deathly cold and he would surely drown. Deer knew he could swim across a stream but he had never tried to swim in a deep lake. He would certainly be swallowed up and drown.   

Ker plunk! Splash! Deer hit the water still tightly on to the broken branch. He began sinking deeper until the water completely covered him. He sunk deeper and deeper into the water. It was cold and dark around him. This was it, he thought. It seemed hopeless and he could not hold his breathe much longer. He was doomed!

About the time that Deer had just about given up all hope of surviving the fall into the lake, he heard a “swish” sound above him. He looked up only to see what looked like a shark coming toward him. Quickly, the thought of a shark left his mind. Deer had lived around streams and lakes all his life and had never seen a shark in these waters before. It did not matter. Deer was frightened beyond belief. If the lake did swallow him up then surely this monster would do it. Deer began to kick and flail against everything that surrounded him. Due to this kicking, his fall into the depths of the lake stopped and he began to rise toward the surface. As he rose, he realized he no longer had the strength to fight against anything. He had no choice; he just let go of his fear and relaxed.

Suddenly, he popped through the surface of the water and into the light of the day. Wow! He was still alive. He had survived the fall but he still had the lake and the monster to deal with. He began kicking his feet and moving toward the land. Just then he was surrounded by the large dark fins of many sharks. Now that he was above the water, he could not see the forms that swam around him. Their huge dark bodies darted toward him then turned away, then returned. It seemed like they were just playing with Deer or just waiting for him to finally give up.

Deer, however, did not give up. He looked for the shore of the lake. It was close yet, in spite of his constant kicking, he was not getting closer. The only thing he was getting was tired. Right then, one of the monsters bumped up against him. It was so close he could see its eyes staring at him. Deer closed his eyes knowing he would be eaten by these creatures. Then, he was nudged again by more of the creatures. They were not biting him but rather just gently pushing him.

He opened his eyes and realized that these creatures were not monsters; they were not sharks but rather they were dolphins. Like Deer, dolphins were gentle creatures. One dolphin in particular stayed close to Deer. She asked Deer to get on her back and she would take him to the shore. Holding each other tightly, they moved together toward the shore. Deer had never been this close to a dolphin. In fact, he had never seen or met a dolphin before. Deer felt warm again. He felt the warmth of Dolphin. He felt safe and once again had hope that he would return to his home in the forest.

Dolphin carried Deer to the shore and Deer jumped off her back. They looked into each others eyes and could not stop looking. A strange new feeling was coming over Deer. Of course, he was grateful to Dolphin but it was something more than gratitude. True, his heart was pounding but he was not out of breath. His heart was pounding because he was falling in love with Dolphin. It was love at first sight.

Deer stood up on the land and Dolphin rested her head on the bank of the lake. They wanted to be with each other but Deer could not swim very well and Dolphin could not walk on the land nor could she live out of the water. How could they be together? Was this the end when a moment ago it seemed it was just the beginning?  

Deer sadly turned to walk away while at the same time Dolphin slid back into the water.

So, is this the final chapter in this most unusual and amazing story? Was this really a make believe story? Do deer climb trees? Do dolphins live in lakes? Could a deer live in the water or a dolphin live on the land? Does Deer get home? Where did Dolphin go? What was this story really about and what can we learn from it?

Trust me, this is a true story. 

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