The little, lost fawn opened her eyes and took in the sight of the tall, long grass. As it swayed in the African breeze, the last rays of the sunset beamed across the savannah and wrapped the small of her back in a warm, motherly hug.
And oh, how she needed a hug. As she watched a beautiful herd of gazelles leap and bound in the distance, she longed for her mother to find her.
“Psst, help me!” chirped a sudden, shrill voice.
The fawn lifted her head from the ground and saw a grey and golden-toned bird perched on the tree just above her. “What’s wrong with you?” She asked. Her voice was squeaky and sweet.
“I’m stuck!” The bird chirruped, “help me, please!”
The fawn blinked her eyes - attempting to clear them of the clouds that still lingered from birth.
“What are you?” She asked.
"I’m an oxpecker, of course,” the chirpy bird answered.
The fawn stared at him blankly. “Oh, an oxpecker,” she said thoughtfully, “am I an oxpecker, too?”
The oxpecker laughed. “Of course not.”
“Then, what am I?”
The oxpecker flapped his silvery wings. “You’re exactly what I need, little one! Please, help me!”
He wiggled his foot, which was stuck in a tightly-wound string.
Alarmed, the fawn’s newly-born heart swelled with an overwhelming desire to free him. There was, however, just one problem.
“How do I get to you?” She asked.
“With your legs,” he replied.
The fawn looked around her. The tall, long grass still swayed in the breeze. However, as the sun quickly dropped into the horizon, the sticks and the leaves cast giant, lanky shadows that seemed to become the limbs of the earth.
“Are those my legs?” She asked, nudging her head at the grass and the shadows.
The oxpecker let out a small laugh. “Of course not,” he said, “look underneath you.”
The fawn gazed down at the entanglement of strange, scrawny knobs that were curled and folded under her torso. She sighed. “Oh, these,” she said, "I’m sorry, I want to help you, Mr. Oxpecker - I do - but I just don’t know how to use these things. I’m afraid that I’m stuck on the ground.”
“Don't be silly,” chirped the oxpecker, “It's easy. It comes from your will. You must desire to move them."
The fawn paused in thought. I want to get up, she said to herself. I can get up.
She felt a tingle of energy move toward her two front legs, and the first one popped out from under her. She braced her wobbly weight on top of it and looked up at her new, feathered friend. “Like this?” She asked.
“That’s it!” He trilled.
Having made a bit of progress, the fawn again paused. She watched the long, tall grass sway before her and imagined that she, too, was tall. Suddenly, her second front leg shot out from beneath her and met the acute, slanted angle of the first. “I’m doing it!” She exclaimed. Her heart began to pound.
“Yes, yes!” Chirped the oxpecker.
However, the fawn’s excitement suddenly vanished. She looked up at the little bird - who sat high on the branch - and back at her hind legs. “I…I don’t think I’ll be able to reach you,” she said, “I don’t think I’ll be tall enough to help.”
The oxpecker flapped his wings. “You will be, little one! I promise, keep going!”
Despite his encouragement, the fawn felt a great sense of despair wash over her. What if he was wrong? What if she wasn’t big enough to save him?
The tall, long grass swayed in the breeze, and the little fawn couldn’t help but feel very small. She bowed her head in great sorrow. As she did, the oxpecker seemed to get farther and farther away.
Suddenly, the beautiful herd of gazelles reappeared and leaped past them across the bare, open plain. The fawn watched in awe as their graceful contours rose and fell against the flat, shapeless land. She observed their thin, elegant legs and bronze, golden hide. She looked down at her own skin, which was similar in color. She looked at her own legs - at those knobby little things that felt so clumsy and weak - and began to imagine herself running along with them.
“I'm one of them,” she said. She looked up at her friend on the high, high branch - then felt a twinge of sadness. “But if I am one of them, there’s no way I’ll reach you.”
The oxpecker flapped his wings at her. “You must try, little one. I know that you can. Please, I need your help.”
The fawn watched as the lovely gazelles danced in the last of the sunlight. Suddenly, she realized something. I must get to them, she thought, for if I can learn to move as quickly as they do, perhaps I can run to get help for my friend.
The long, tall grass swayed in the breeze, and the fawn again began to imagine that she was long and tall, too. She began to believe she was strong.
Though it took all of her might, she managed to pop one of her hind legs out from under her. She felt a surge of exhilaration course through her veins as she did.
“That’s it! You’re almost there!” Chirped the oxpecker.
With her head bowed low, the fawn used the final ounce of her will to nudge her last leg into position. Then, she looked up at the oxpecker, and sighed. He still seemed very far away.
“Straighten them out!” He peeped.
Carefully, awkwardly - she tiptoed her hooves inward until her legs were upright. However - even then - she was too short.
The long, tall grass swayed in the breeze.
“Now lift up your neck, little one.”
The little, lost fawn - the tiny gazelle - raised her neck up...
and finally met her friend in the eyes. 🦒
About the Creator
Free-Form poet of ethereal style. 🧚♀️✨
Creator of stories with hints of fantasy.
Teacher. Sometimes I dabble in the world of ✨article writing✨.
Fueled by a conflicted soul of fire & water. ❤️🔥🧜🏻♀️
A sucker for a good rhyme. ☺️
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
What a beautiful tale of courage and determination! The little fawn may have felt small and powerless at first, but she discovered that she had the strength and will to overcome her obstacles and help her friend. I wish for all of us to have the same kind of resilience and perseverance in the face of challenges. May we find inspiration in this tale to keep pushing forward, even when things seem impossible. And may we always remember that, like the little fawn, we are capable of achieving great things when we believe in ourselves. Thank you for sharing this lovely story!
That was rather nice...
I loved the ending!
Awww, sweet, heartwarming, beautiful, and stunningly written story, Gina! It made me want to cry and laugh and smile and hug and cheer at the same time. Thank you for writing this lovely gem of a story and sharing it with us. And congratulations <3
Wonderful story, beautifully written. I loved your imagery and of course, the delightful twist at the end! This was such a joy to read, thank you! It should be published as a children's book--teachers like you and therapists like me would love utilizing this.
Aww this is so sweet. It’s like a true old fashioned fable. It’s perfect.
This is so beautifully written. I loved it. A tall, tall tail.
Awesome thinking 🤍👏
Nice, this story is an excellent example of the meme, "They had us in the first half, not gonna lie." I liked how You threw the us, the audience for a loop at the end there. It was such a warm, pleasant, surprise. The talk between the two animals is great, and especially about how the newborn doesn't know a lot of words just yet. Makes me wonder if she heard a lot of them while in the womb. I know that a lot of newborn baby animals can walk immediately after being born, yet I wonder how long it takes for them to truly learn about communicating between one another. Like, they must have a language of some sorts, and it might even be possible to have a cross species language. I like how the newborn is determined to stand and how it displays the struggle of trying to do so. Besides that, there's not really a sense of danger or a time crunch going on. So, it makes me wonder if the oxpecker got caught in a human trap. Thanks for making such a sweet story, Gina. This was a delightful light read that everybody needed.
Aw, excellent tale Gina.
Soo sweet I really like that you did animals speaking to each other instead of humans brilliant take on this Gina
Awww! such a sweet Tale. Congrats!
Congratulations on the well-deserved top story!!
Amazing. I’m going to echo everyone else’s comments and say this could be a children’s book.
Very good content, congra
So happy to see! Love this story! Congratulations on Top Story!
A beautiful story!
So beautifully written. The giraffe was a wonderful ending and the picture is wonderful! You had me at “ what am I?”
Super good story! Love the surprise effect of the last picture. Would love to read this to the little ones before bed.