it was dark. the fawn was crying. we’d never heard a deer’s voice before. it couldn’t get up. we didn’t know what to do. we went home. we tried to imitate the deer’s sounds. gran said we should call the park ranger and they would come and shoot it. we didn’t.
the day before, we had talked about their garden. the deer always eat their trees. they said, “there was a fawn and we chased it but it ran into the fence and broke its neck and died.” they fell about laughing. they said, they burnt it on a pyre. they said, “don’t tell anyone.”
we drank afternoon tea. we talked about teeth. dreams of teeth pouring out of our mouths. they said that was about mortality. i said i thought it was about how our bodies are made up of things.
they said that was mortality.
it was dark. as we got ready for bed, i wondered if deer are as good as we are at telling stories. alone, at night, in the dark. i said i wanted to write a poem about bambi. my sister said to keep it to myself.
we called the next day. they didn’t shoot it. they wouldn’t have. we all glared at gran. they did go to look for it, but it had gone.
it was morning.
Ariel Baker-Gibbs’s childhood was split between Toronto, ON, and Hornby Island, BC, and she grew up competing for space with the largest collection of children’s books that anyone has seen. She is now a resident of Somerville, MA, working as an editorial assistant at the MIT Press, and reads and writes various kinds of words for different things in her spare time. She gets angry when she gets hungry in the middle of reading a book, and she had to sit for ten minutes with a towel over her head when she finished Charlotte’s Web on a road trip.