Thwack! Thump! Smack! Scrape! Rub! Dewdrops, the baby spotted deer, had never heard such sounds before and it made his tiny tail twitch! Nothing could have actually interrupted him while he was busy nibbling at the fresh, lush, juicy, green moss which had begun to grow after these first few showers around his favourite playground that the huge boulders were. But the sight of big brother Stormy rubbing his large, brown, handsome, new antlers vigorously against the bark of a tree made his lovely, innocent, glimmering, large, deep brown eyes widen with awe.
“Mumma”, asked he in his feeble, lilting, quivering voice, “What is Stormy doing?” “He, my dear”, replied Mumma indulgently in her calm, soothing tone, “has now grown up into a fine young adult. You see, the velvet that covered his new antlers during the summer has dried out and he has to rub it off to get ready for likely fights during rut season.” “Wow, what fights Mumma”, Dewdrops’ curiosity deepened. “Well, he has to now start his own family, and for that he will scrape the velvet off his antlers, and then rub his forehead into the tree trunk to leave his scent marks. By this, he will mark his territory challenging other males for a fight and the scent will hopefully also attract a doe to him”, answered Mumma. “Whoa, so will he fight the big bully Thunderstorm too!?” Dewdrops was bewitched, suddenly feeling proud of his brother. “May be, may be not; let us leave it to Stormy. After all he has such strong antlers now”, Mumma trailed off nudging Dewdrops homeward.
Stumbling along after Mumma reluctantly, Dewdrops paused to lower his head to the ground and lifting his right front leg, fancifully and indulgently touched the two tiny stumps that had just begun to emerge on his head. Well, thought he, one day soon…
– Narendra Nayak © 2017