Christmas Place, MS> With Thanksgiving here and me disappearing for a couple of days to hunt, I thought that in the spirit of the holiday I would give a brief history of the life of the gigantic buck named Thunderhoof.
That stupid deer thinks this is real funny because he believes that the more I write about him, the less people will believe that he is real. (except for my loyal readers who know that every word I write is true.)
Even so, he is very interested that I write it down correctly. This is his story, at least as I understand it. He is the last of the Irish Elk or Megaloceros.
The story starts 10,000 years ago as the Ice Age is covering the Earth,
The winter gale was blowing furiously as he made his way across the barren hills looking for the herd. Thunderhoof had just reached his prime and even though the wind and lack of food slowed him, he had plenty of power to trudge through the deep snow drifts of the long and unusual winter. He had made circles looking for anything green to eat and finally had cut back and found the tracks of his herd. He bent into the wind and followed them as they headed for the edge of the River Basin.
Thunderhoof stood on the edge of the hills looking down through the blowing snow in hopes of spotting the large herd of deer, but even he could not see over a few yards ahead. He worried because they had chosen to head down toward the mile wide sheet of ice over the River to look for food and to get out of the wind.
He stood still and watched, hoping to see some faint movement, when he became aware that not 8 feet away a human was sitting on a rock looking at him. He turned his mighty head to stare and the man spoke to him. He could understand the words that were softly spoken. The words both calmed him and sent fear to his heart.
The old man said “They are gone Thunderhoof. They have gone the wrong way and will not return. You are now the last of your kind.”
The man got up from the rock, grabbed his wooden staff, pulled his worn gray robe tight around him and stepped closer and looked deep into Thunderhoofs' eyes. “You need to go with me. I have great use for you”
He stepped even closer and rubbed Thunderhoofs’ nose, head and flanks. Thunderhoof felt no fear then. Great warmth and a feeling of peace began to run through him.
The old man smiled warmly and headed back through the snow covered hills. After a last glance for any movement below; Thunderhoof slowly turned and followed behind him.
As they traveled the land seemed to swirl and change. A great feeling of time passing and unknown great events filled him. Moments later they were on a leaf covered path in a bright warm forest as the strange human led him forward to the edge of a great bluff. Inside, Thunderhoof knew that this was the exact spot they had left only a few minutes before. He looked down at the wild and mysterious forest in front of him. He smelled the trees, the wild swamps and forest, the wildlife and heard the forest sounds around him. He knew he was home.
The old man said “I need you to guard and protect the things I have placed here.”
He then ran his fingers in between Thunderhoofs’ gigantic antlers. Knowledge and Understanding of mighty secrets buried in the Earth filled the gigantic deer and the man turned to go. With a wry smile he said “I will visit as often as I can, but you are now the Guardian of the Forest.” He smiled, turned and headed away from him through the woods. Thunderhoof watched as the old man seemed to fade away as he quietly stepped along a path through the woods.