A Deer Friend

The smell of damp earth and the shiny foliage was irresistible! "Aaah! Fresh air!” said Katch as he plodded along.
Gopi took a deep breath and mimicked his P.E. Instructor at school, "Breathe in...hold...1...2...3...out. Breathe in...hold...1...2...3...4...5...out!"
Katch sneezed and broke the rhythm just as a branch snapped behind them.
Gopi teased, “You scared something Katch. If it's a wolf, sneeze again!"
Then he peered through the leaves and said, “Don’t be afraid, we won’t hurt you."
The fawn responded in a scared voice, “My foot is caught. Help me!"

“Oh no! It’s a trap,” said Gopi, as Katch and B-Zee came in for a closer look, “Hunters are around. I have to tell Pa.”

Using all his strength, he pried the clasp open with a stick and set the fawn free.

He introduced himself, “I’m Gopi, and these are my friends Katch and B-Zee.”

“I’m Pavan,” replied the fawn, “thank you for saving me. I got lost last evening and couldn’t find my mother. I was really scared and spent the night hiding in the bushes. Just after sunrise, I got trapped.”

They walked till they reached the pond. “No animals attacked you in the forest, but a human-machine caught Pavan,” Gopi said aloud.

“It’s not safe Gopi. Hunters come in with guns and we have to run for our lives,” Pavan said sadly.

Katch was angry, “But hunting is banned! Right Gopi?”

“It still happens Katch…we live in fear.”

“I’ll take this trap to Pa. He’s a Forest Officer and we will make your home safe again Pavan. That’s a promise!” said Gopi with an air of authority.

The frogs on the lily pads were singing ‘Chorus of the Raindrops‘ and were only too happy when everyone joined in. Above the singing, Pavan heard his mother’s anxious call. She was overjoyed to see him safe with his new friends.

“Our deer friends have invited us for lunch next weekend Pa,” said Gopi, as he handed the trap to his father.

“Hmmm! Another one of these? I know who this belongs to and I’m going to catch him soon. Come on Son, show me where you got this.”

Gopi did a thumbs-up with both hands, Katch doffed his hat proudly.

Know what these words mean?

Authority – power

Mimicked – imitated

Anxious – worried

All characters created by Dominic D’Cruz & Jerusha Lawrence-D’Cruz

Profile Image: Gopi; Previsualization Storyboard: Jerusha- Lawrence D’Cruz;
Illustration  Animation: Sithesh Govind