"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.
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.
Meaning of difficult words:
|Leave me off||To leave someone at a particular destination|
|Bearing||A direction that is measured from a specific point|
|Hoof||Foot of a horse|
|Twig||A small thin branch of a tree or a bush|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). Honeydew. This is Jody's Fawn - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (pp. 86-93). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.