People say the woods are scary, I hear them whispering about it when they’re passing through. I never understood why, maybe it was because they didn’t know it as well as I thought I did. It was the only place I’ve ever called home. My daddy brought us to this part of the forest when the elder called for our species to grow. They used a very hard word, something like extension or extinction — mommy said he meant us deer were dying out. So I left my friends behind and followed my parents all the way here.
It seemed we were the only ones here, until my daddy went looking one day and came back with a few females. I didn’t like them; they made my mommy made angry all day.
One day the three of us decided to search for something extra yummy to eat. I was so happy, jumping and racing both of them, chasing butterflies. Sometime mid dinner, daddy got away to check on something and didn’t come back. When mommy and I went back home, the female deer were whispering about him running away with someone. I really didn’t like them, I wish the elders hadn’t ordered daddy to find them. Mommy didn’t talk to me that night, she was very sad. She sat by the pond all day. I missed my friends; with daddy gone there was no one to play with here.
Days passed, daddy didn’t come back. Mommy tried very hard to play with me but it just wasn’t the same. After daddy, mommy was in charge, she went in search of more of us just like daddy used to. Leaving on her excursions, she would would give me instructions on how to get by. That made me feel so grown up — finally a grown deer.
As time went by, I grew. I understood things better, met different creatures and animals, some I wish I hadn’t. One night, I accompanied mother on her expedition to find more of our family from other forests but this time around we faced an unexpected surprise. He came out of nowhere, with big antlers and a mean, vicious face. He had captured her and there was nothing I could do. My antlers weren’t anywhere as big as his. So just like that my mom was gone.
I walked alone that night for the first time. The darkness was daunting, the sounds terrifying. I was alone, a lonely underage deer with no idea what purpose or existence meant. I stopped in my track and tried, tried to find an answer. But I was clueless; I couldn’t recall a single conversation with anyone about what to do when something like this happened.
This was it, this was what those people meant about the woods being scary.
Ayesha Aman, is a freelance content writer currently doing her BSc.(hons) in Business Managemnet, with majors in Marketing from Forman Christian College, University.