Happiness is a shy deer

Photo: Pixabay

This week I would like to start by thanking all those who have taken the time to give me feedback on my blog. I have heard you and I will also give time and text to the requested topics in the coming weeks!
The blog articles continue – today, however, in a slightly different form, because after a somewhat longer time, a short story has once again flowed from my fingers.

My thoughts on the questions “What does happiness mean to me?”, “How can I create conditions to invite it?” and “Will it stay?” have made this story emerge.

Enjoy reading and stay happy!


Once upon a time, not so long ago, in a place not so far away, there was a little boy whose greatest happiness and greatest wish was to one day spot a free deer.
So from then on he thought day and night how he could succeed in doing so. He studied where deer could be found, when the probability of seeing them was particularly high and what they particularly liked. In a short time he had become a true deer specialist. He knew everything about them – the only thing that was missing was really spotting one.
So he set off into the forest with all his knowledge and looked for a suitable clearing. When he found it, far away from the footpaths, he prepared everything. He layed out food in a suitable spot – well visible and yet not too far away from the denser bushes. When he had everything ready, he sat down next to it and waited. When it happened, he wanted to be close to it. And so he waited. Patiently. For three days. But nothing happened. Not a single deer showed up. Not even any other forest creature approached the feeding place. When the little boy finally, sadly and somewhat resignedly, turned his back on the feeding place at dusk on the third day, he heard a rustling in the bushes and felt a slight swaying of the forest floor. He held his breath. He stopped and carefully turned his head, his feet still rooted to the same spot.
There it was, indeed, at last! A magnificent roebuck. Tall, gentle, in a warm brown, with a shy look and an upright posture. Despite its weight, its steps seemed springily light. It lowered its head to eat and raised it again after each bite to observe its surroundings. Fascinated by its appearance and flooded with happiness, the little boy wanted to look at it more closely and took a step towards the feeding spot.

The loud cracking of a branch under his feet abruptly interrupted the perfect situation. In three great leaps the deer fled into the bushes and was gone.
“So short a moment and yet so wonderful!” thought the little boy. Now his longing was aroused all the more. He wanted to try again, to see it once more – and not let it jump away so easily again! He now knew how to do it.
And so he made a small change, went back into the forest to that clearing and prepared everything with much patience and diligence. He waited until dusk – but this time in a hidden spot.
And indeed, there it was again, the rustling, the magnificent creature, the shy look. The little boy’s heart leapt with happiness! He wanted to come closer to it, to touch it, to hold it forever. This time it would not escape.
And just as the deer was nibbling another bite, the little boy dropped a cage on it that he had built earlier. The animal flinched in fright and wanted to flee – but there was no escape. Now the little boy could approach it without it running away. He looked at it, its shiny fur, its big eyes, its wet nose, its delicate limbs.
When he reached his hands through the cage bars to pet it, it backed away. It will get used to me, the little boy thought, and sat down next to the cage.

Patiently he stayed there for a day and a night. At dawn the next day, the boy noticed that the deer had indeed become calmer.
But a lot more had changed. What he perceived was not a trusting, confident calmness. The whole animal had changed. Even seeing it no longer filled him with happiness but with deep sadness. The fur seemed to have lost its shine, the light-footed hooves had sunk heavily into the forest floor and a grey veil of resignation had settled on the deep brown eyes of the beautiful animal. They had stopped shining.

At this point, the little boy realised it was time to let go.
Happiness did not belong to him alone, it belonged to no one – and it could not be captured or held.
And so he opened the cage and released the deer back into the wild. He watched it gallop away, at first a little hesitantly, then in stronger steps – without looking back.
But the little boy stayed behind. He smelled the earthy scent of the damp, freshly churned forest floor, felt the slight vibration of the ground produced by the fleeing hooves and looked longingly after his luck.
Would it ever come back?