The Importance of Having a White Deer / Fernando Dámaso

According to the Small Larousse Illustrated Dictionary: A a deer is a ruminant mammal of the cervidae family equipped with shovel-shaped horns.

In the Pocket Guide for Nature Lovers Jeanette Harris says: Deer 86-110 cm. height at the withers. Tail with black tip, which contrasts with the surrounding white spot, which also has the black border. The summer coat is brownish orange with white spots, in winter more gray. Usually in herds. Forests and parks.

This is the information I can provide about the deer. However, I will not talk about these deer, I am going to tell you about the white deer, yes, immaculately white, which originate in childhood and only leave with death. Mine, which has accompanied me since I was six, appeared one night in December before Christmas. I think it was fifteen or sixteen, I don’t remember clearly, it being so many years ago! Well, that night of the year of 1944, my white deer came with seven bells ringing, galloping through the clouds and entering through the bars of my window lattice. I awoke with a grunt and opened my eyes, I found before me eyes blacker and brighter than I had seen in my short life.

“I have come for forever,” he told me. “From today forward I am a part of you.”

His words surprised me. I never thought having a deer! I don’t know if it was that I was half asleep or because I loved the idea of having a white deer, the truth is that I accepted. Since that night, he has come in December each year, more or less on the fifteenth, and at the end of the first week of January he leaves. I never knew why, nor did I dare to ask. It was enough that he came. I knew he belonged to me, even if he was only with me twenty days each year. When I talked to my friends about my white buck some laughed. Who has seen a white deer! It will be gray or brown! “White deer don’t exist,” they said.

Others looked at me with complicity and a smile on their faces. Then I realized that there were those who knew the white deer and those who did not. Years passed and I grew up to become an adult, which is how to stop dreaming, but my white buck came back each year and accompanied me. As I learned more I realized that the white deer were different: they were not worried about eating grass and tender shoots, they were not in herds, and their feet did not leave visible traces, even in dusty or muddy path. Over time I learned that their favorite foods were love, tenderness and truth. Hate makes them sick and lies put them on the brink of insanity. Then they kick like wild horses and nobody can get close.

Remember, I saw mine only in that situation once or twice, fortunately not because of something I did, but for something he had seen or that had happened when he trotted to our annual meeting. He never wanted to talk about it. He always said, “In our bit of the year we only talk about happy things.” This was real, his presence filled me with joy and gave me enough energy to live until his next visit. My white buck and I continued with our meetings until the seventies.

Then, for reasons I’d rather not remember, the extinction of the white deer was decreed. Those who only had brown or gray deer turned to look for the owners of white deer. The white deer was found slaughtered. I decided to protect my white buck when he arrived that year with seven bells ringing, I asked him to be very quiet and hid him in my pillow. This was repeated the following year and another and so on until last year. That year, upon arrival, I asked him to ring his seven bells. He looked at me surprised but said nothing. In recent times he had learned to keep quiet. We took a walk, something we hadn’t done for many years, and I didn’t hide him from anyone as we toured the city. Some could see him and some could not. Those who could not see him were saying, “What a fool this man is talking to himself!” Those who saw him exclaimed, “What an incredibly beautiful white deer!” Then I knew that many had not forgotten the existence of the white deer.

In these days of the year, I began to behave as it did when I was a child and young. After the first week of January, as always, he left. He seemed happy and his black eyes glowed. I accompanied him with my eyes until he disappeared between two white clouds. Since then I keep thinking about him. This year, when December arrives, I will anxiously await the return of my white deer. I’m sure he will come with seven bells ringing. It is important to have a white deer!

November 25 2010