The lesson "This is Jody's Fawn", written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, is about a little, brave and sensitive boy named Jody and his sympathies for a small fawn that Jody's family abandoned in the forest after its mother was killed. Through the main character Jody, the author emphasises the value of compassion and thankfulness in this story.
Jody couldn't help but think about the orphaned fawn, despite his best attempts. In his dreams, he imagined hugging the fawn with his arms. As thoughts about the fawn continued to bother him, he finally got up from the table and headed over to his father's bedside, where Penny (Jody's father) was resting. Jody decided to tell to his father about the poor fawn that was left alone after the doe's death.
The Doe and the Fawn
Penny's pupils remained dark and enlarged, despite the fact that his eyes seemed to be open and clear. This is because Penny hadn't slept the previous night after a snake's bite. Though he was not completely cured, he replied that he was alright when Jody inquired how he was feeling.
"Old Death has gone thieving elsewhere. But wasn’t it a close shave". In this context, 'death' is personified as a thief who, according to Jody's father, left to another location without stealing Penny's life as Penny had been saved from a major threat. The comments of his father were accepted by Jody. Also, Penny complimented Jody for keeping his calm and completing the task at hand.
We may deduce from the conversation between the father and the son that Penny was not feeling well since something bad had occurred to him, and he was resting after the incident.
Since his thoughts about the fawn were hurting him, Jody decided to tell his father about it. To begin, he asked if his father remembered the doe and the fawn, to which Jody's father graciously replied that the poor doe which had saved his life would be remembered forever.
Jody began to voice his worry about the fawn, which could be hungry and scared because it was alone. When his father agreed, he went on to add that because he was grown up, he didn't need to drink any milk, implying that he could use the milk for the fawn. As a result, Jody might go find the fawn and bring it home to nurture it. Jody's father remained silent for a moment, understanding his son's worry about the motherless fawn that had been abandoned in the forest.
Jody's concern, after all, has a reason. Jody thought they were responsible for the fawn's survival since the doe (the fawn's mother) had been killed to save his father. He tried to persuade his father by explaining why it was that the fawn was to be brought to their house and raised there. Penny fell silent since he was unable to speak. He gazed at the ceiling, telling Jody that he had put his father (Jody's father) in a difficult position where he couldn't say no to his son's request. Penny was aware that he was the cause of the doe's death. Jody tried to persuade his father even more by claiming that rearing the fawn would be simple and that the fawn would soon be eating leaves and acorns. Penny made the remark that Jody was wiser than boys of his age after listening to Jody's worried speech.
Penny admitted to Jody that they killed the doe to save him, even though Penny couldn't be blamed at that demanding situation because he would have died if the doe's liver hadn't been used. Penny then told his son that leaving the fawn hungry could appear ungrateful because they killed his mother (though he was not to blame). Penny understood how important it was to get the fawn to their house.
Penny could never say 'no' to his son's fair request because he was alive due to the fawn's mother. Finally, Penny agreed to let Jody go on a search for the dead doe's fawn. Jody asked his father whether he might join Mill-wheel in the search for the fawn in the forest. His father agreed, and Jody was instructed to notify his mother that he had given him permission to visit the forest. Jody returned to his table, almost unnoticed by his mother, after conversing with Penny. Jody's mother was pouring coffee at the moment.
While his mother was pouring coffee, Jody began a conversation with her. He informed her that Penny had permitted him to take the fawn home. Jody's mother was motionless for a moment and held the coffee pot in the air, asking which fawn he was referring to.
Jody clarified that he was referring to the doe's fawn, which they had killed in order to save Penny's life. He reminded his mother that they were able to extract poison from Penny's body and preserve his life with the aid of the doe's liver. She let out a sigh as Jody reminded her of the reason for bringing the fawn to their house.
Jody informed her that it would be ungrateful of them to leave the fawn to starve in the forest before she could say that they might bring the fawn home for the sake of sympathy. Doctor Wilson, who was there throughout Jody and his mother's discussion, agreed with Jody's point of view and added his own: 'Nothing in life is free.' Both Jody and his father were correct; he informed Jody's mother.
The conversation between Ma Baxter and her son Jody above reveals three things. Penny had been bitten by a snake and needed assistance, so a doe was killed and the doe's liver was used as a home medicine to rescue him. Jody had a hard time leaving the doe's kid alone because he was a sensitive boy.
Mill-Wheel offered to take Jody on a ride and assist him in his search for the fawn. Jody's mother, on the other hand, felt helpless but agreed to Jody's request since she thought it was ungrateful to leave the fawn hungry and alone in the forest.
Jody's mother agreed to bring the fawn home provided Jody would share his milk with the fawn because they didn't have anything else to feed it. Jody was overjoyed at her mother's approval. Immediately, Mill-wheel asked Jody to come along and said that they needed to go.
Jody's mother was concerned about his safety and worried about his journey, but Jody promised Ma Baxter that he would be back before dinner.
Mill-wheel climbed onto his horse and assisted Jody in securing a seat behind him. As Jody worried about the fawn's whereabouts, he asked Mill-wheel whether he thought the fawn would still be there, and if not, if Mill-wheel could assist in locating the fawn in the deep forest.
Mill-wheel assured Jody that they would locate the fawn if it were still alive. He also asked how Jody knew the fawn was a boy. Mill-wheel asked him this question because Jody kept referring to the fawn as 'he.' Jody informed Mill-wheel that he was sure since the fawn's spots were all in a row. His father had taught him that the marks on a doe-fawn or female deer are orientated in different directions.
Jody was thinking about the fawn as he rode toward the forest in pursuit of the fawn. They passed through a deserted clearing. Jody gave Mill-wheel directions, telling him to head north, where Penny had been bitten by a snake. He had killed the doe and seen the fawn there only.
Suddenly, Jody became unwilling to be with Mill-wheel and there was a cause for it. Jody reasoned that if the fawn was dead or couldn't be located, he didn't want Mill-wheel to witness his dissatisfaction. On the other hand, if he found the fawn, the reunion would be so lovely and intimate that he would be unable to bear sharing it. As a result, Jody told Mill-wheel that the fawn he had seen was not far from where they had arrived, and that riding a horse through the bushes ahead would be tough, and that he might instead go by foot. Jody tried to avoid Mill-wheel since he didn't want to share his joy or sorrow over the fawn hunt with him.
Mill-wheel was not yet ready to leave Jody alone, despite Jody's explanations. He was concerned about Jody's safety, fearing that he might get lost in the forest or be bitten by a snake. Jody told Mill-wheel that he would take care of himself, although locating the fawn, if it was wandering further, would take some time. As a result, he asked Mill-wheel to leave him in that location, claiming that he could manage his search on his own.
Mill-wheel agreed with Jody and advised him to take it easy, knowing that Jody would be upset if the fawn was not found. He then inquired about Jody's understanding of the north and east. Jody explained it to him by pointing out the directions he was familiar with, and a tall tree nearby acted as a compass to help him identify the directions. Mill-wheel and Jody then said their goodbyes. “So long” is a farewell phrase in this context. After that, Mill-wheel moved away from Jody.
Before continuing his search in the right direction, Jody waited for the horse's foot sound to go away. The scrub was motionless and he searched for the fawn for so long. The silence was broken only by the Jody's foot sound of a few twigs. For a short moment, Jody wondered if he had lost his direction.
Jody had seen a large bird rise from the ground in front of him and fly away. He then neared an oak-covered area. Buzzards sat in a circle around the doe's carcass. They hissed at him, their heads buried in their long necks as they stared at him, and they flew into a nearby tree as Jody threw his bough at them. Large cat footprints were visible in the sand, indicating that the big cats had just killed their fresh just sometime before Jody arrived and the doe's carcass was left by the cats to be eaten by the carrion birds.
Jody searched the tall grasses again for the fawn he had spotted the day before, but it was nowhere to be seen. He couldn't believe the incident had happened only a day before. Jody searched the desolate area for any sign or sound of one, but couldn't find anything.
On the other hand, the buzzards made an impatient sound with their wings as they waited to consume the doe's lifeless carcass. Jody began searching for the fawn's footprint as he attempted to identify and follow the small footprints in the sand, but he was unable to do so since the night's rain had washed away all evidence except the footprints of cats and buzzards.
Jody was shocked to see movement in front of him and fell to the ground. He was terrified because a snake or even a big cat whose footprint he had seen might be present. But none of those were there, and instead he noticed the fawn. He found it at long last. The mental battle of the day was over. When he saw the fawn, he was excited.
Jody found the Fawn
The fawn raised his face in a wide, curious move to look at Jody and looked at him with his liquid eyes, leaving Jody shaken. It shook slightly but did not attempt to run. Jody remained still, whispering to the fawn that it was him. The fawn sniffed him with its snout raised. Jody stretched out and placed his palm on the soft neck of the fawn. Jody was delighted by touching the fawn and went forward in an attempt to get closer to it (the fawn). He then wrapped his arms around the fawn, causing it to shiver slightly but not move, indicating that the fawn was not scared but rather comfortable.
This is Jody's fawn
Jody handled the fawn with care, as if it were a breakable clay deer. 'China deer' refers to clay deer in this context. The fawn's skin was silky, smooth, and shiny, and it smelled like grass. He rose slowly from the ground and carefully raised the fawn. Jody had to lift the fawn as high as he could under his arm since the fawn's legs were so lengthy. Jody was concerned that the fawn might kick and bleat if it saw or smelled its mother (carcass). Jody didn't want the fawn to see his mother's body, so he made his way through the brush, avoiding the clearing.
As Jody was a little boy, it was difficult for him to continue with the fawn's burden on his arms. While they were walking, the fawn's legs became tangled in the bush, and he couldn't move. Jody tried to keep the fawn's face safe from the thorns. His head bobbed with each step he took. His pulse raced with the wonder of the fawn's acceptance of him. He arrived at the path and went as quickly as he could till he reached the crossroads of the road leading back to his house. He came to a complete stop and rested the fawn on its hind legs. It swayed gently on Jody's hind legs, bleating and staring blankly at him.
Jody, who was overjoyed, told the fawn that he would carry it after he had had some rest. Jody remembered his father telling him that a fawn would follow us if it had first been carried. He wanted to check it out, so he started walking away from it. The fawn was staring at Jody, but it did not follow him. He then returned to the fawn and gently stroked its skin and again walked away. The fawn started walking towards Jody this time, though it couldn't properly walk and cried piteously.
The Fawn followed Jody
Jody was delighted because the fawn was willing to go with him, which made the fawn his own. His joy almost made him dizzy. He wanted to stroke it, run about with it, and call it over to him. He didn't want to alarm it. He took it up and carried it over his two arms in front of him. His happiness made him feel as if he were walking effortlessly.
Jody felt as if he was the happiest person in the world. He was even more ecstatic when he carried the fawn in his arms. Though he was determined about not putting it (the fawn) down, his arms ached and he had to come to a halt once more. He couldn't walk so long holding the fawn since he was a small child. When he walked, the fawn followed him once more. Jody couldn't stand it any longer (the fawn) and picked it back up. They were on their way to Jody's house.
Though Jody could have walked all day and into the night with the fawn following him, though he was too tired and began to sweat. A mild wind cooled him, and the sky appeared to be as clear as a spring water in a blue china cup. Spring water is often pure and colourless, and the colloidal particles in spring water give it a milky white look, therefore the sky was compared to spring water in a blue china cup in this scene. Jody's inner power in attaining his objective is also represented by the spring water. He reached the clearing at last which was green and fresh after the last night's rain.
Jody followed through on his promise to his mother that he would be home before dinner. He arrived at his house and struggled to open the door holding the fawn. He had an idea of making the fawn follow him directly into Penny’s room and surprise him. Jody had to carry the fawn to his father's room since it wouldn't climb the stairs. His father slept with his eyes closed. Jody called him and proudly showed the fawn he had brought home.
Penny opened his eyes and saw Jody, who was standing beside him. The fawn was clutching Jody tightly because it was terrified of just seeing Penny. To Penny, Jody's eyes looked as bright as the fawn's eyes. Penny noticed a sense of accomplishment in Jody's eyes when he saw him with the fawn. "I'm glad you found him.", says Penny, expressing his happiness to Jody.
Jody then went into the kitchen because he knew that the fawn would be too hungry without its mother. The hungry fawn followed him with its unsteady steps. Jody then noticed some milk in the kitchen, which had cream on it. He then skimmed the cream and poured the milk into a small gourd, and offered it to the fawn. The fawn hit the gourd because it didn't know how to sip the milk from it and was hungry, and Jody saved it from spilling over the floor. The fawn couldn't drink the milk from the gourd.
As the fawn didn't know how to drink from the gourd, Jody helped the fawn sip the milk by dipping his fingers in it and placing it in the fawn's mouth. The fawn sucked the milk greedily because it was hungry, and when Jody withdrew his fingers from its mouth, it cried and hit him with its head. Jody carefully lowered the fawn's mouth the next time he put his fingers in it, bringing it closer to the gourd.
The fawn grew irritated, blew milk while sucking it, and made noises. The fawn remained quiet until Jody kept his fingers in the milk, and it drank contentedly with its eyes closed. When Jody felt its tongue against his fingers as his little tail waved back and forth, he felt overwhelmed.
If a fawn wags its tail, it indicates that it is at peace and that everything is alright. The orphaned fawn had returned to its normal condition and was no longer hungry, despite the absence of its mother. The milk quickly disappeared, leaving froth and a gurgling sound.
Jody was relieved to see that he would be able to serve and care for the baby fawn in the future, even if he couldn't completely replace his mother. Jody's kind and thankful heart has finally saved a life.