LIGHT ON A SNOWY DAYpage 3 / 5
As Maggie darted into the garage she nearly knocked her father over.
“How's Paxton, Daddy?”
“He's doing fine, Maggie.”
“Is his hoof all better now?”
“Well, it's going to take time to heal. Right now he just needs to work on getting his strength back.”
Paxton was very timid as Maggie approached him.
“Why is he afraid of me, Daddy?”
“He's still not used to us. This is a strange place to him.”
But with time and persistence, Maggie finally gained the little deer's trust. In fact, he was soon eating carrots right out of her hand. And when the holidays were over and Maggie was back in school, she never left without feeding Paxton first thing every morning.
Mr. Dotson could see the bond that his daughter felt for the little deer. That scared him, though, because he knew Maggie would never be able to say goodbye. So when his hoof had finally healed, Mr. Dotson came home early one afternoon to set Paxton free.
When Maggie learned that her father had released Paxton, she was devastated. Mr. Dotson had believed it would be easier on Maggie that way, but he was wrong. His daughter never forgot the little deer and she called out to him every day, hoping he would hear her.
In time, though, Maggie did come to understand that deer are not like puppies, or kittens. She understood that wild animals, even little deer, need to be in their natural habitat. But that didn't change how much Maggie cared for and missed Paxton.
Between the Dotson's home and acres of woods lay a pond that always froze-solid in the winter months. It was a large pond, and many children would come over to ice-skate on it. But the pond hadn't frozen over that winter yet, because the weather had been warmer than usual.
As Maggie stood by the pond one afternoon, it started to snow. Mr. Dotson saw Maggie through the kitchen window and could tell she looked upset. Without having to ask what was wrong, he knew.