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Monday, 03 May 2010

The White Stag of the Mountains

By Linda Chaput

Bill Smead was born in the old rustic cabin many, many years ago. It was located far back in the mountains where no roads went, only a small narrow foot trail led to the front door. His mother bore him alone with only the forest creatures nearby to hear his first cries.

Smead’s father had gone to town for the day, returning later that evening to hold his newborn son in his arms. All was well with the small family and they lived contently for several years in the old cabin.

As Smead grew up and went away to school, his parents happily remained in the cabin, content to be alone together. It was peaceful there away from the noises and frenzies of the towns below them.

Smead’s father would sometimes roam the mountaintops for days at a time very content with the silence that the forests gave him. He would listen to the awakening sounds of early morning while waiting for the dawn. When the sun was high, he could smell the warmth of the earth beneath his feet. And at night he could feel the stars come out, one by one, while making his bed of leaves.

Of all the animals that he saw, he especially loved the passing deer that would stop and gaze at him. Their eyes seemed to meet with his and engage in a certain knowingness that only they could share.

Years later, after Smead’s mother died, his father stayed on at the old cabin alone but still loyal to the mountains that spiritually fed him. Smead would visit his father often and ask him to come down to town to live with him and his new family but to no avail. He knew that his father would never leave this mountain that had been his home for so long.

Now the villagers below were calling Smead’s father “Old Man Smead”. They had heard of this elderly man who was still living in an old decrepit cabin far back in the woods, of how he would walk the mountains and live among the animals there. But nobody ever saw him anymore; they just knew the stories.

One day when Smead went up to see his father, he found the cabin quite empty. But Smead knew where he was. His aging father had gone to find his death in the forests that he knew and loved so well. The birds would be there to sing to him and the deer would show him where to lie down and die.

Many years passed, and more and more people from the villages below came to the mountains to enjoy their beauty and serenity. And when they would see from afar a beautiful four-point white stag appear to them in the forests, they knew that it had to be the spirit of Old Man Smead.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


What a lovely story with a beautiful ending.

Someone in your family?

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