Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Summer is certainly winding down here in the mountains. Every morning I find leaves on my deck, and I see some color developing around the borders of my yard. The early morning temperatures are much cooler. It is time to throw open the windows. Let the crisp fresh air inside.

Looking out my living room through double windows, I often see herds of deer on a trail that only they know as they move up or down the mountain. Sometimes I see two or three or maybe as many as ten as they quietly make the trek past my house. Today I happened to be looking out when I saw slight movement. As I watched, a doe made her deliberate way through the trees, barely noticeable because her brown coat blended so well with nature. I waited to see if others would follow and, sure enough, a young one, probably born in May or June, followed her. 

Just as I had decided there were no more deer, another young one appeared. He reminded me of a curious little boy, stopping to investigate anything that caught his eye. He nibbled from the ground, probably finding acorns. It could have been he heard an unfamiliar sound or he had just realized his family had gone on without him. His little head flew up, and he bolted up the ridge, his short tail held aloft like a white flag. 

This image brought to mind one of the first movies I saw as a child, The Yearling, based on the wonderful book by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. I fell in love with that orphaned deer, Flag, and it broke my heart that he would not be tamed and behave himself so he could be kept safe. Like the young one I saw today, Flag was curious and mischievous. He would not stay out of the corn field, and no matter how hard the boy tried, he could not save the wild animal he loved so much. 

That is the way with some young humans, isn't it? Their curiosity, their daring and adventurous spirit will not be harnessed. They defy caution. They climb mountains, they jump motorcycles, they drive fast cars, they test the waters in every way they can. 

Sometimes they end their lives before they have lived. Sometimes, we who love them, hold our breath and say to ourselves, "If we can just keep him alive until he's grown."


DJan said...

I loved The Yearling and read the book several times to my son when he was little. I never saw the movie because I loved the book so much. And I do so love little deer. Lovely piece, Glenda. Thank you.

Glenda Beall said...

Thank you, DJan. My interest in the book, The Yearling, has been renewed since yesterday and I think I'll get a copy.I was quite young when I saw the movie. I think it came out in 1947.

I also find Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' life to be of interest to me now, so I want to read more about her and from her.

Barbara Gabriel said...

Sweet thoughts, sweet post. I can picture this scene from your house. I am missing the mountains as the rainy season looms in the PNW.

Barbara Gabriel said...
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Lise said...

You are fortunate that you see deer around your place...we don't see them here very often, when we do, it's further into the woods where there are clearings, but not around our cabin. I don't recall reading The Yearling, but you have peaked my interest!

Glenda Beall said...

Barbara, I wish you were here this fall. I know the PNW is a beautiful area, however, and someday I want to visit there. BB and I had planned to take a cruise on the Snake and Columbia river, but never made it.
Thanks for reading my blog and for commenting.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Lise, I hope you will read it. I imagine the book is even better than the movie which has been made a few times and there was a TV movie at one time.
It was a top selling book for many months when it came out way back when.
Thanks for reading my blog.

Ellen said...

Great post, Glenda. I once visited Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings home in Cross Creek, FL. I felt transported to the time period of The Yearling, feeling both sad and happy at the same time. I see that they are celebrating the Year of the Yearling this year:

Glenda Beall said...

Ellen, I want to vist Cross Creek one day. From pictures I've seen it reminds me of the old homestead of my Council ancestors in Wakulla County, FL. Alachua county is a bit further south, but the landscape seems similar.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

This is an excellent posting. We also enjoy watching the deer come to our place. We've seen twin fawns with their mom lately visit our peach tree. How exciting to watch them.