“The Doe, the Hunter and the Buck” ~ A short, metaphorical, symbolic, true story.
By: Monica Grossman
A young, doe-eyed deer skips lightly through the forest. Carefree… excited about her destination… anticipating the wonderful things that the future surely holds. The sunlight cascades through the bright green leaves above. The trees stir and sway with the gentle spring wind and sing to her. The breeze whispers past her ear, harmonizing with her as she hums a melodic, happy song.
All at once and with no warning, a shot is fired. She feels a searing pain. It feels as if her heart has exploded. Light caves in around her. Everything is white and black and silent and loud. She stumbles and falls to the soft, mossy earth, and it grabs at her and holds her down and will not let her up. Her muscles have failed. Her heart and mind have failed. She cannot get up, no matter how hard she tries. She begins to try and understand what has just occurred. “Why can’t I think? Where am I? Where was I going? What has happened to me? Am I going to be okay?” She lies there for a very long and painful time. She cannot move. She does not understand. She prays for someone to rescue her. Nothing else happens. Nothing else. Silence. Silence so loud, it muffles out the sound of her murky, muddled thoughts. After a little while she realizes the hunter has gone. He must have been hunting for sport alone. But it does not make her feel any better knowing that she will not be someone’s meal today, for you see, she realizes her predicament. Reality settles in: “Oh no! I’ve been shot! Am I dying?! Alone here in these woods?!!! Help!!!!!!” She lays there. She bleeds. She waits for rescue.
More time passes, though she cannot be sure just how much. Hours and days all feel the same to her in the unyielding grip of what she fears most: dying alone. “Wait? What is that noise?” She hears something, and the silence breaks its grasp. “I hear footsteps! Someone is coming! Wait… Are they going to hurt me? Maybe they are going to save me. They are going to help me! I just know it!” Through blurred vision and hazy thoughts she sees a large buck with powerful antlers peering from behind a tree. She can tell he is old. “He must be wise. He will know what to do. He will have compassion. He will help me.” He is coming her way, walking slowly forward, as if unsure what he is seeing… trying to assess the scene before him. “At last! Help has come! But I can’t move or speak… how will I be able to tell him about the ache I feel in my chest? Ohhhhhh, it hurts so much! Oh, please hurry! I really need help”, she thinks. And then she looks up with her weary eyes, and tries to lift her face to see and voice to speak. She summons all the courage, energy, her last resources, and the last of her breath to squeeze out a whispered plea for help.
The buck stands over her, looking down at her, mind and eyesight keen. He hears her panting… quietly pleading… begging for his help. She is so fragile. Weak. Beautiful. He knows this is his moment; his opportunity to be everything he has always wanted to be. At last, the time has come for him to take charge; to be the big, strong buck that he knows deep down he is. The other deer in his herd and throughout the forest and in his ever-so-painful past view him as weak. They do not respect him. They think he is a joke. They laugh at him behind his back, but he is smart. He knows. They take him for granted. They have never understood him. He hates them. But now, just before him is a defenseless doe who he and he alone can save. “Wait,” he begins to realize, and thinks to himself, “At this crucial moment, I have the ability to affect her life. I can change her forever. I can alter her destiny. What power I have!” As he remembers the many other doe - the ones who snorted at him, ignored him, hurt him, left him - he is filled with a deep and brooding rage and it begins to well up and swell up within his puffy, masculine chest. He knows that this truly is his one chance: His one opportunity to affect the life beneath him. And to not just affect the life of this wounded, bleeding, pathetic doe; but his own life as well. He could take it all back in one moment! Everything that was stolen from him. Everything ripped away. What a powerful epiphany! “I know what I must do”, he thinks.
And so, in his moment of glory, he leans in close to her face. He sees the blood pooling all around her body. He hears her wheezing… pleading for help. Desperately seeking salvation… protection. He begins to speak to her in a strong and steady voice. He has never been more sure of himself or anything else in his life than at this moment. “Doe, I see that you have been shot. You want me to rescue you… but… I cannot. You see, I need to rescue myself. And right now, with you lying hear injured… unable to resist or refuse or fight or run - it is my perfect opportunity - my one chance. Don’t you see?! It is wonderful! And so, Doe, you must die. You will not die suddenly. Although, I see that your wound is deep, it is not a mortal wound….. Yet…” And he begins to kick her. And kick her. And kick her. Kick the wound. Over and over. He kicks and stomps and snorts and snuffs and growls and screams with delight. He will take her life. Slowly and passionately. Because, at last, he can.