I could not resist a soft squeal of delight, and the doe shied away, dancing over the crusty snow to the heard that fed a short distance away at the feed trough and Grampa’s salt blocks. Grampa swept me up in his arms, and let you that deep chuckle that I loved so much. I snuggled into his embrace, my cold nose warmed against his hoary cheek, as he carried me back to the house, the scent of Grama’s cooking wafting out to greet us.
I remember standing there, snow all around, the wind whispering in the distant tops of the pine forest. Grampa’s arms and chest were so warm, as he knelt behind me, holding his hand out in front of us, full of seeds. The White Tail looked warily at me, but seemed to trust Grampa, and she came up to us, her hooves making soft crunching noises in the snow. The doe was small, but to me she was very large. I held onto Grampa’s coat sleeve with my little mittened hands, and held my breath as her muzzle reached from Grampa’s hand. He murmered to the deer, and her ears pricked forward and back, as if she was listening to his soft voice.
Grampa sank onto one knee, and gently lifted my hand toward the deer. I wanted to snatch it back, afraid for a moment that the deer might bite me, but the strong assurance of his arm around my little waist reminded me that Grampa would never allow anything bad to happen to me. I forgot to breathe; the deer leaned forward and nuzzled my palm.