Best Short Stories THIS IS JODY’S FAWN Introduction:
THIS IS JODY’S FAWN Stories, Jody’s father has been bitten by a rattlesnake. The lesson “This is Jody’s Fawn” begins with Jody being unable to keep the fawn out of his mind. He expresses his concern to his father, Penny who was resting as he had just been saved from death.
He was bitten by a snake and Jody killed a doe to use its heart and liver to extract poison out of his father. The doe had a fawn and Jody was worried about it. He wanted to bring it home and raise it.
Best Short Stories THIS IS JODY’S FAWN:
Jody allowed his thoughts to drift back to the fawn. He could not keep it out of his mind. He had held it, in his dreams, in his arms. He slipped from the table and went to his father’s bedside. Penny lay at rest. His eyes were open and clear, but the pupils were still dark and dilated.
Jody said, “How are you feeling, Pa?”
“Just fine, son. O1d Death has gone thieving elsewhere. But wasn’t it a close shave!”
Penny said, “I’m proud of you, boy, the way you kept your head and did what was needed.”
“Pa, do you recollect the doe and the fawn?” “I can never forget them. The poor doe saved me, that’s certain.”
“Pa, the fawn may be out there yet. It might be hungry and very scared.” “I suppose so.”
“Pa, I’m a big boy now and don’t need to drink milk. Why don’t I go and see if I can find the fawn?”
“And bring it here?” “And raise it.” Penny lay quiet, staring at the ceiling. “Boy, you’ve got me hemmed in.”
“It won’t take much to raise it, Pa. It’ll soon start eating leaves and acorns.” “You are smarter than boys of your age.” “We took its mother, and it wasn’t to blame.”
“Surely it seems ungrateful to leave it to starve. Son, I can’t say ‘No’ to you. I never thought I’d live to see another day.” “Can I ride back with Mill-wheel and see if I can find it?”
“Tell your Ma I said you can go.” He sidled back to the table and sat down. His mother was pouring coffee for everyone.
He said, “Ma, Pa says I can go bring back the fawn.” She held the coffee pot in mid-air. “What fawn?” “The fawn belonging to the doe we killed. We used the doe’s liver to draw out the poison and save Pa.” She gasped.
“Well, for pity sake—”
“Pa says it would be ungrateful to leave it to starve.” Doc Wilson said, “That’s right, Ma’am. Nothing in the world comes quite free. The boy’s right and his daddy’s right.”
Mill-wheel said, “He can ride back with me. I’ll help him find it.” She set down the pot helplessly.
“Well, if you’ll give it your milk—we’ve got nothing else to feed it.” Mill-wheel said, “Come on, boy. We’ve got to get riding.”
Ma Baxter asked anxiously, “You’ll not be gone long?”
Jody said, “I’ll be back before dinner for sure. ” Mill-wheel mounted his horse and pulled Jody up behind him. He said to Mill-wheel, “Do you think the fawn’s still there? Will you help me find him?”
“We’ll find him if he’s alive. How you know it’s a he?”
“The spots were all in a line. On a doe-fawn, Pa says the spots are every which way…”
Best Short Stories THIS IS JODY’S FAWN Part 2:
Jody gave himself over to thoughts of the fawn. They passed the abandoned clearing.
He said, “Cut to the north, Mill-wheel. It was up here that Pa got bitten by the snake and killed the doe and I saw the fawn.”
Suddenly Jody was unwilling to have Mill-wheel with him. If the fawn was dead, or could not be found, he could not have his disappointment seen. And if the fawn was there, the meeting would be so lovely and so secret that he could not endure to share it.
He said, “It’s not far now, but the scrub is very thick for a horse. I can make it on foot.”
“But I’m afraid to leave you, boy. Suppose you got lost or got bitten by the snake, too?”
“I’ll take care. It might take me a long time to find the fawn if he’s wandered. Leave me off right here.”
“All right, but you take it easy now. You know north here, and east?”
“There, and there. That tall pine makes a bearing.”
“So long, Mill-wheel. I’m obliged.” He waited for the sound of the hooves to end, then cut to the right. The scrub was still. Only his own crackling of twigs sounded across the silence. He wondered for an instant if he had mistaken his direction.
Then a buzzard rose in front of him and flapped into the air. He came into the clearing under the oaks. Buzzards sat in a circle around the carcass of the doe. They turned their heads on their long scrawny necks and hissed at him. He threw his bough at them and they flew into an adjacent tree. The sand showed large cat prints but the big cats killed fresh, and they had left the doe to the carrion birds.
He parted the grass at the place where he had seen the fawn. It did not seem possible that it was only yesterday. The fawn was not there. He circled the clearing. There was no sound, no sign. The buzzards clacked their wings, impatient to return to their business.
He returned to the spot where the fawn had emerged and dropped on all fours, studying the sand for the small hoof prints. The night’s rain had washed away all tracks except those of cats and buzzards.
Best Short Stories THIS IS JODY’S FAWN Part 3:
Movement directly in front of him startled him so that he tumbled backwards. The fawn lifted its face to his. It turned its head with a wide, wondering motion and shook him through with the stare of its liquid eyes. It was quivering. It made no effort to rise or run. Jody could not trust himself to move.
He whispered, “It’s me.”
The fawn lifted its nose, scenting him. He reached out one hand and laid it on the soft neck. The touch made him delirious. He moved forward on all fours until he was close beside it. He put his arms around its body. A slight convulsion passed over it but it did not stir.
He stroked its sides as gently as though the fawn were a china deer and he might break it. Its skin was very soft. It
was sleek and clean and had a sweet scent of grass. He rose slowly and lifted the fawn from the ground. Its legs hung limply. They were surprisingly long and he had to hoist the fawn as high as possible under his arm.
He was afraid that it might kick and bleat at the sight and smell of its mother. He skirted the clearing and pushed his way into the thicket. It was difficult to fight through with his burden. The fawn’s legs caught in the bushes and he could not lift his own with freedom.
He tried to shield its face from prickling vines. Its head bobbed with his stride. His heart thumped with the marvel of its acceptance of him. He reached the trail and walked as fast as he could until he came to the intersection with the road home. He stopped to rest and set the fawn down on its dangling legs. It wavered on them. It looked at him and bleated.
He said, enchanted, “I’ll carry you after I get my breath.”
He remembered his father saying that a fawn would follow if it had first been carried. He started away slowly. The fawn stared after him. He came back to it and stroked it and walked away again. It took a few wobbling steps toward him and cried piteously. It was willing to follow him. It belonged to him. It was his own.
He was light-headed with his joy. He wanted to fondle it, to run and romp with it, to call to it to come to him. He dared not alarm it. He picked it up and carried it in front of him over his two arms. It seemed to him that he walked without effort.
His arms began to ache and he was forced to stop again. When he walked on, the fawn followed him at once. He allowed it to walk a little distance, then picked it up again. The distance home was nothing. He could have walked all day and into the night, carrying it and watching it follow.
He was wet with sweat but a light breeze blew through the June morning, cooling him. The sky was as clear as spring water in a blue china cup. He came to the clearing. It was fresh and green after the night’s rain. He fumbled with the latch and was finally obliged to set down the fawn to manage it.
Then, he had an idea — he would walk into the house, into Penny’s bedroom, with the fawn walking behind him. But at the steps, the fawn baulked and refused to climb them. He picked it up and went to his father. Penny lay with closed eyes.
Jody called, “Pa! Look!”
Penny turned his head. Jody stood beside him, the fawn clutched hard against him. It seemed to Penny that the boy’s eyes were as bright as the fawn’s. He said, “I’m glad you found him.”
Jody then went to the kitchen. The fawn wobbled after him. A pan of morning’s milk stood in the kitchen safe. The cream had risen on it. He skimmed the cream into a jug. He poured milk into a small gourd. He held it out to the fawn. It butted it suddenly, smelling the milk. He saved it precariously from spilling over the floor. It could make nothing of the milk in the gourd.
He dipped his fingers in the milk and thrust them into the fawn’s soft wet mouth. It sucked greedily. When he withdrew them, it bleated frantically and butted him. He dipped his fingers again and as the fawn sucked, he lowered them slowly into the milk. The fawn blew and sucked and snorted. It stamped its small hoofs impatiently.
As long as he held his fingers below the level of the milk, the fawn was content. It closed its eyes dreamily. It was ecstasy to feel its tongue against his hand. Its small tail flicked back and forth. The last of the milk vanished in a swirl of foam and gurgling.
MARJORIE KINNAN RAWLINGS
Best Short Stories THIS IS JODY’S FAWN Part – I
1 ) What had happened to Jody’s father? Ans. Jody’s father had been bitten by a rattlesnake.
Ans. Jody’s father had been bitten by a rattlesnake.
2 ) How did the doe save Penny’s life?
Ans. Jody’s father killed the doe or shredder. He used her heart and liver to draw out the snake’s poison. In this way, the doe saved Penny’s life.
3 ) Why does Jody want to bring the fawn home?
Ans. Jody’s father had killed the doe. Without the mother-deer, the fawn was likely to starve to death in the forest. So Jody wanted to bring the young fawn home.
4 ) How does Jody know that the fawn is a male?
Ans. Jody knew that the fawn was a male because the spots on its body were all in a line. His father had told him that on the body of a doe-fawn, the spots are in different directions.
Best Short Stories THIS IS JODY’S FAWN Part – II
1 ) Jody didn’t want Mill-wheel with him for two reasons. What were they?
Ans. Jody did not want Mill-wheel with him for two reasons. One reason was that if the fawn was dead or could not be found, he did not want Mill-wheel to see his disappointment. The second reason was that if they found the fawn, then the meeting would be so lovely and secret that he could not endure sharing it.
2 ) Why was Mill-wheel afraid to leave Jody alone?
Ans. Mill-wheel did not want to leave Jody alone as he was afraid that Jody could lose his way or get bitten by a snake.
Best Short Stories THIS IS JODY’S FAWN Part – III
1 ) How did Jody bring the fawn back home?
Ans. Jody did not want to scare the fawn away. That is why he first stroked its neck slowly, and then put his arms around it. Then, he picked it up and carried it through the thick bushes. He tried to shield its face from the sharp vines. He stopped to rest on his way home. On walking a little, he saw the fawn following him. After this, he would either carry the fawn or put it down so that it would follow him by itself. When they reached home, they refused to climb
the stairs. He then picked it up and took it inside the house.
2 ) Jody was filled with emotion after he found the fawn. Can you find at least three words or phrases that show how he felt?
Ans. Jody was filled with emotion after he found the fawn. When he stroked its neck, the touch made him ‘delirious’. When he realised that it was his fawn now, he was ‘light-headed with his joy’. When he finally brought the fawn into the house, Penny thought that ‘the boy’s eyes were as bright as the fawn’s.
3 ) How did the deer drink milk from the gourd?
Ans. The deer drank the milk from Jody’s hands. When Jody gave milk to the fawn in a gourd, it butted it suddenly, smelling the milk and not knowing what to do with the milk in the gourd. It was then that Jody dipped his fingers in the milk and pushed them into the fawn’s soft wet mouth so that it would drink the milk.
4 ) Why didn’t the fawn follow Jody up the steps as he had thought it would?
Ans. The deer is a wild animal. It is used to live in the forest. When the fawn reached Jody’s home, it did not follow Jody up the steps because of the strangeness of the house and the steps and everything. This is similar to its reaction to the milk in the gourd. It simply did not know what to do.
5) Why did Penny Baxter allow Jody to go find the fawn and raise it?
Ans. Penny allowed Jody to go find the fawn and raise it because it seemed ungrateful to him to leave the fawn to starve. He agreed with Jody that they had killed the doe for their purpose and the fawn was orphaned for no fault of its own. They could not let the fawn starve. They felt a responsibility towards it.
6) What did Doc Wilson mean when he said, “Nothing in the world ever comes quite free.”?
Ans. Penny had killed the doe to save his life. Therefore, in regard to what the doe had done, its fawn needed to be taken care of and saved from starvation. This was what Doc Wilson meant when he said that nothing in the world came quite free.
7) How did Jody look after the fawn, after he accepted the responsibility for doing this?
Ans. After Jody accepted the responsibility for looking after the fawn, he cared for it like its own mother would. While taking it home, he shielded its face from the sharp vines. He carried it in his arms even though he was tired. On reaching home, he gave it the milk that was meant for him. When he saw that the fawn did not drink the milk kept in the gourd, he fed it with his own hands. Hence, one can say that Jody carried out his responsibility quite well.
8) How does Jody’s mother react when she hears that he is going to bring the fawn home? Why does she react in this way?
Ans. When Jody’s mother heard that he was going to bring the fawn home, she was a little surprised and asked Jody what fawn he was talking about. He then told her that it was the fawn whose mother they had killed to save Penny. She said they had nothing else to feed it and only the milk they gave him could be given to it. She reacted this way because she was not present at the site where Penny had been bitten, where they had killed the doe. She had not seen the
fawn and therefore was not as concerned as Penny and Jody.
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