He stood by his kitchen window as he had throughout the week, keen on seeing if it would happen again.
For the past seven days, the most unimaginable thing had been occurring at precisely seven in the morning. He set his coffee aside as the hour hand hit seven, and sure enough, it happened.
Greg Banducci was your average middle-aged dad living in Minnesota. Greg woke up early every morning to fix his town breakfast as a diner owner in the local neighborhood.
His life had always been a simple one with little to surprise him, and for the most part, Greg loved this sense of familiarity. That was until that fateful week that threatened to turn his life upside down.
Greg had moved to Minnesota in his late twenties with his wife Cheryl, who was pregnant with their first child. What attracted him to Minnesota was the seemingly endless physical features that the state boasted.
For Greg, there was no better place to raise a family. After settling in, he bought an old restaurant and renovated it, turning it into a beloved diner that soon became the source of his livelihood. As far as he was concerned, life was perfect.
Greg spent a decade raising his family in Minnesota. He’d seen all that his town had to offer throughout this time. He’d witnessed wildlife roam the streets at night and early morning.
He’d lived through several instances where dangerous animals strayed into the town, prompting wildlife services to intervene. None of what he’d seen would live up to what occurred that week.
The week that it happened had been as typical as any for Greg. As was his routine, he woke up at five and ran through the day’s logistics before making breakfast for his family.
With everything done, he got dressed and stood by the kitchen window to take in the sunrise as he sipped his coffee. And that’s when it happened.
The first thing Greg heard was a scream. It was not from someone getting hurt or scared, but a shout of excitement. A giggle followed through, then some laughs.
Mornings in Greg’s neighborhood were always quiet. So why was this particular one different? Greg put his coffee aside and stepped out of the house. What he saw made him cock his head back.
Before Greg stood a group of kids going to school. They were trailing behind a boy Greg recognized as Miles, his neighbor’s ten-year-old son.
Greg thought the kids were bullying Miles, which made him want to intervene. He was about to call the kids out when he caught what Miles was doing.
Before Miles was a small deer peacefully walking as it grazed. The boy was walking behind it, interested in what the deer was doing.
A smile took Greg’s face. It wasn’t abnormal for kids to watch or even play with deer, especially ones as young as the one before Miles. He returned to the house. If only he knew what was truly happening.
The next day was no different. Greg heard the kids screaming and yelling, and when he hurried out, Miles was walking behind the tiny deer.
The rest of the week followed the same route, and although Greg didn’t want to acknowledge it, he knew something bigger was happening.
By Friday, Greg knew he had to uncover what was happening between Miles and the deer. He’d planted a camera on his garage door the previous day to learn what the ten-year-old was doing.
The camera footage didn’t reveal anything that he didn’t know already. Miles would walk around with the deer every morning at seven before leading it back to the woods. So, what was happening?
Greg woke up earlier than usual that Friday morning. He ran through the day’s logistics and made breakfast by six. With a steaming cup of coffee in hand, he stood in the kitchen window waiting for Miles and his friend to come out.
Minutes passed with nothing consequential happening. But as the clock neared seven, kids flocked out of their houses to wait for Miles, who had become some sort of rockstar.
A minute passed, and Miles didn’t show up. But as the second minute came to a close, he emerged at the furthest point of the neighborhood, the deer beside him as they walked from lawn to lawn.
It was then that Greg realized what the boy was doing. He rushed out of the house, hurrying to Miles before it was too late.
Throughout the week, Greg had wondered what Miles was doing. He’d zoned out at work several times, trying to place the pieces to this wondrous mystery.
As he cut through the damp grass, everything suddenly made sense. But although he’d unlocked the mystery, he was nowhere close to the absolute truth.
He’s feeding the deer, Greg thought as he finally neared the two. He slowed down so as not to spook the animal. But the closer he got, the more he realized what was truly happening.
The deer’s eyes were like none Greg had ever seen. They were milky grey and sightless, even as the deer walked beside Miles. It was at that moment everything finally clicked.
Miles had been taking his time in the morning to help the deer find grass patches because it was blind. Greg’s jaw slackened at the revelation, and he took a step back, still unsure of what he’d learned.
His son had shown a special quality that few possessed. But now it fell on Greg to do something about the situation. As much as his son had done, he didn’t have the resources to help the deer as an adult could.
Greg decided that he would take matters even further. He would take the reigns from here and get the deer the help it really needed.
A week later, an IDNR-licensed wildlife rehabilitation group picked up the deer. Of course, Greg and Miles’ parents explained everything to him, lauding him for his sense of duty and responsibility. They were worried the town’s decision hurt him, but he assured them he was glad the deer would get the help she needed.
With the deer rescued, Greg and Cheryl thought that they could relax. But they had no idea what their son was capable of. Just a few weeks later. He would come running into the house with something important to tell them.
He’d explain the situation to them. It had to do with another deer. Their poor son couldn’t help but try and help another deer in need. But it wouldn’t be what they thought it was.
His son was adamant that it was very important that they followed him. So they walked out to the road close to their house. Miles was clearly distraught, and they would soon see the reason why.
But they could never have imagined what would happen when they decided to investigate their son’s cry for help.
As Greg got to the road, he saw what his son was talking about. There was a fawn lying on the ground. Greg’s heart sank. He hoped the poor animal wasn’t hit by a car. Either way, something was very wrong.
He could see that the deer was sprawled out in a funny position. It was as if it was lying in a defensive position. But things would only get weirder.
Cheryl spoke out and told Greg that it was probably trying to hide away from any predators. From her size, she could have been born recently. And without the safety and experience of her mother, she didn’t know what to do.
Their son had yet again found another deer in desperate need of help. The family knew that they couldn’t stand idly by while the poor thing was in danger.
The poor fawn was on the road all alone, and if it stayed there, a driver might not see it until it was too late. The family guarded the fawn while they thought of a plan to save the animal. But the family had no idea what was coming up behind them.
The family heard the sounds of rustling behind them. They turned to see what could be sneaking up on them, but they couldn’t have foreseen what would happen next.
The sounds were coming from behind them, and they had no idea what they were facing up against. Was there something sinister that was waiting for them to leave the fawn alone?
Maybe it was a predator lying in wait. Knowing that the deer was an easy meal without the interference of the humans. But they couldn’t let that happen, they had to save the animal.
Even though the likelihood of a predator being nearby was small, Greg decided to help the animal. He saw the pleading in his son’s eyes and could never say no to him. But they didn’t have many options, they had to think of a plan quickly if they wanted everything to end well.
Greg approached the deer slowly. He knew it wouldn’t hurt him, but he didn’t want to spook it either. He had to get close enough to take action.
As Greg shimmied closer to the small animal on the road, he tried his best to remain as unintimidating as possible. He made sure the animal wasn’t getting uncomfortable as he kept moving in closer. He was now in touching distance.
All he had to do now was slowly pick up the animal and take it to a safer place. That’s when the fawn could put up a fight if he wasn’t careful.
The deer was now in Greg’s arms. He started moving across the road with the animal when it started to struggle against him. He knew he couldn’t drop it now. It could get seriously hurt if it hit the asphalt now.
Greg didn’t relinquish his grip and held on strongly until he made it to the other side of the road. He would make sure that the fawn got to safety.
Just as Greg got the fawn to the nearby wood, he heard the rustling again. Whatever had come for the fawn earlier was there again. It was now coming in for the kill, but Greg couldn’t let that happen. He moved faster than before and put his back between the animal and the fawn.
He was ready to feel the predator sink its claws and teeth into his back. But what happened next would be the most unexpected thing ever.
Greg turned around to face his would-be attacker but saw something surprising. There was a doe standing behind him. It was clear what she was after, and he’d have to relinquish the fawn or suffer her wrath.
He slowly lowered the baby, and it ran toward its mother. Now they were together, and it was safe.
Greg was over the moon seeing the fawn safe and happy to see its mother. They could now breathe a sigh of relief. The rest of the family was relieved to see that everyone was safe, and Miles was jumping up and down on the spot.
Greg rejoined his family across the road and stared back at the beautiful event happening in front of them.
The mother and fawn stood side by side. The mother was smelling her baby, making sure that everything was okay. Greg just hoped his scent on the fawn wouldn’t complicate things. He’d heard of that happening before.
Mothers in the animal kingdom can abandon their children if they smell anything foreign, like the scent of a human.
The family stood in silence as they watched the moment that they thought was beautiful a second ago. But now they were worried that things would take an ugly turn. Thankfully, after a moment of deciding, the mother licked her child, and the two bounced off into the trees.
Greg was proud of his son for helping out two animals that wouldn’t have survived without the aid of humans. In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.