Opening his eyes, the young fawn was met with a blinding light and he shivered from the chill that ran through his body. The light closed his eyes to his mother, but as he used his new sense of touch and feel, he found her lying beside him, and he snuggled up against her warm belly. The bright light ceased to a small spotlight upon the new fawn, and he was able to look up into his mother’s deep brown eyes which mirrored him exactly, allowing him to notice his pelt – all brown and matted and flecked with a white so pure – and his huge innocent eyes. So young and innocent. And beautiful. His mother looked him over proudly as she gently licked him with such love and care. And he felt safe. He was safe. And then one innocent eye caught the lush vibrant greens about him, and the rich warm browns that he lay upon and had to look up to as they towered above him with the green, intimidating him. Strange and powerful scents, he discovered, flared his nostrils into life. They weren’t normal, not to him. But as long as his mother lay beside him, he was fine.
For hours the pair just lay side by side, the fawn testing his new senses: familiarising himself with the beauty about him which he was intended to call home; the strong aroma of rich dark soil and tints of mint and other flora; the rhythm of his young heart beating against his wheezy chest; the warmth of his mother’s thick body and the thick, damp humidity of the ground and air; and the taste of the atmosphere, so thick and refined upon the buds of his tongue. This was where he was going to learn to belong. And it started now.
His mother got to her feet carefully, elegantly, and he tried to do the same. But he was delicate and too heavy for his legs, which shook and trembled with the strain, resulting in a collapse and a light thud. He looked hopelessly up at his mother, who looked encouragingly down at him. He tried a more controlled theory of getting to grips with the ground, one hoof at a time. But the first leg shook, then the second, and he was back to lying on his heaving belly and looking up at his mother. Their eyes locked and he used this opportunity to silently plead with her using his huge innocent eyes alone. His mother heaved a sigh and moved round to his hind before lowering her head and nudging, gently but effectively. And he was up. He was trembling with frailty and determination, and he lifted a leg. He wobbled dangerously, and breath seemed held. And within a single moment it was down again, a bit further forward than it had been: his first step.
Just a few days of struggle later, the new fawn was bounding around like the rabbits that scattered the woods. The pattern of brown and green was interrupted with a dash of flower every so often as he ran; such beauties like the fawn. Birds joined in the sky to somewhat compete in what seemed to become a race, and the grass brushed the fawn’s legs and polished his hooves. This was what freedom was.