About twenty cars had pulled off to the side if the interstate to watch a wounded deer in the freshly harvested cornfield. A young man was looking at the damage on his car. Henry pulled off the road behind the line of cars. He immediately got out of his truck as his wife, Mary said,"Where are you going...what are you going to do...dear?" He said,"I'll be right back" as he slammed the door shut.
Henry walked in a straight line towards the deer and her newly born fawn. He could see that the doe's side was crushed in and her front leg was broken at the shoulder. She rolled and tried to get up but stumbled and fell three times as Henry approached her. He quickly pulled a revolver from his coat pocket and shot the doe twice in the heart. He stood for a moment as the doe forced out her last breath. The fawn trembled...standing in the morning frost.
Henry could hear the vulgar screams as he turned to walk back to his truck. One woman...who bolted from her SUV...ran past him and screamed,"What kind of sick man are you?" He kept walking and looked over his shoulder to see her chasing the fawn. Men, women and children were shouting at Henry as he got back in his truck. One woman rushed in front of his truck and took a picture of his license plate as he pulled back on the highway.
Henry mumbled,"Their ignorance is amazing." Mary looked out her window at the still screaming crowd of people and said,"They just don't understand.....letting the animal suffer is far worse." Mary touched the sleeve of his coat and saw that he was deep in thought...she remained silent until they got home.
Henry was thinking of his childhood. His rabbit dog, a Beagle had gotten in a fight with a raccoon. The dog came crawling out of the high weeds...whimpering and severely bleeding from her neck and back. Henry rushed and picked her up in his arms. She became limp as he ran to the farm house...crying and screaming for his dad! His dad came running from the corn crib and told Henry to lay the dog on the back porch.
Henry cried,"Please help her dad...I know you can help her...please dad...please?" His dad could see that the raccoon had chewed into the dog's arteries....she had lost most of her blood. Henry heard the words he feared most,"I have to put her down son...we can't let her suffer." Henry sobbed as his mother pulled him away and hugged him. His dad picked the dog up and walked back to the woods after getting his pistol from the house.
Henry sat on the porch sobbing...holding his hands tightly to his ears. His mother went to the barn and came back with a shovel. She sat down by Henry and tried to comfort him. Later...Henry, his mother and father walked back in the woods to bury the little dog. Henry marked it with a cross he had made from two sticks and an old brown shoe string. He didn't speak to his dad for more than a week.
It was a frosty morning... just like this morning when he shot the deer. He saw his dad whittling on a piece of wood. Henry slowly approached him...looked over his shoulder and read the engraved chunk of wood,"Sammy...a good dog."