THE ADVENTURES OF
AND HER FAWNS
A True-to-Nature Story for
Children and Their Elders
"Twinkly Eyes," "The Little Black Bear," "Trail and
Tree Top," and "Lost River, or The Adventures
of Two Boys in the Big Woods"
MILTON BRADLEY COMPANY
Copyright 1920, by
MILTON BRADLEY COMPANY
Adventures of Fleet Foot
Bradley Quality Books for Children
WHO IS A DEAR
- CHAPTER I.--THE SPOTTED FAWNS.
- CHAPTER II.--A FOXY TRICK.
- CHAPTER III.--AT THE VALLEY FARM.
- CHAPTER IV.--THE ROUND-UP.
- CHAPTER V.--A SON OF THE WILD.
- CHAPTER VI.--A STRANGE FRIENDSHIP.
- CHAPTER VII.--A WIT OUT-WITTED.
- CHAPTER VIII.--STEEP TRAILS.
- CHAPTER IX--THE OGRE OF THE AIR.
- CHAPTER X.--WILD GRAPES.
- CHAPTER XI.--SPECKLED TROUT.
- CHAPTER XII.--THE VICTOR.
- CHAPTER XIII.--THE QUEER FEATHERS.
- CHAPTER XIV--STARVATION TIME
- CHAPTER XV.--THE GRAY WOLVES.
- CHAPTER XVI.--THE FARMER'S PLAN.
THE ADVENTURES OF FLEET FOOT AND HER FAWNS
CHAPTER I.--THE SPOTTED FAWNS.
"Me-o-ow!" screamed Old Man Lynx, from the heart of the woods. The two
spotted fawns heard the cry from their laurel
copse on the rim of Lone
Lake. But, though their big, soft eyes were round with terror, so
perfectly had they been trained, they never so much as twitched an ear.
Well did they know that the slightest movement
might show to some
prowler of the night just where they lay hidden.
Next morning, no sooner had the birds begun to chirp themselves awake,
than Mother Fleet Foot fed the fawns as usual and ate her own light
breakfast of lily pads, Then she lined up the two fawns before her.
"Children," she said, in deer language, "you have a great deal to learn
before ever you can take care of yourselves in these woods. From now on
we are going to have lessons."
"Yes, Mother," bleated the little ones, "but what are lessons."
"They are going to be as much like play as we can make them," said Fleet
Foot. "You need practice in running, and we must play 'Follow the
Leader' every day. Mother, of course, will be the leader. It will be
lots of fun."
The fawns waggled their ears in delight.
"Now listen, both of you," said Fleet Foot. "_This_ means danger! Follow
me!" And she stamped her foot three times and whistled, as she leaped
away through the bushes.
"Just watch my white flag, and you'll know where to follow," she called;
and she showed them how, when she ran, she held the white lining
tail straight up to show which way she had gone. This was because her
brown back might not show between the tree-trunks.
"And when I give the danger signal, you must give it, too, to warn the
others," she added, leaping back to their side.
"What others?" asked the tinier fawn.
"Any deer within ear-shot. That is how we help each other. And
remember--obey on the instant! It is the only safe way!"
Suddenly she gave the danger signal!
This time it was in real alarm, for she had spied a black snake wiggling
toward them. The fawns bounded after her, just in time to escape the
ugly fellow. And, because woods babies learn quickly they remembered to
give their own tiny stamp and whistle, their own wee white flags
wig-wagging behind them. Fleet Foot could have killed the snake with her
sharp fore-hoof, but a deer's long legs are better suited to running
away when danger is near.
The next day she taught them to leap exactly in her footprints. She took
short steps, so that it would be easy for them. Great skill and
experience is needed for a deer to know where and how to put his feet
down when he makes those great leaps of his. He may land, now among the
rocks, now in marshy ground, slipping over mosses and scrambling over
tree-trunks. It would be only too easy to break one of those slender
legs, and be at the mercy of his enemies.
By the time the fawns were six weeks old, they had learned
just how to
land without stumbling and hurting their frail ankles. Then, one day,
young Frisky Fox, hiding at the edge of the clearing, saw a strange
sight. In fact, he thought he had never seen anything quite so odd in
all his life.
Down four little trails from the hill-top came four does, Fleet Foot
among the number. And close behind each doe came her two fawns. Then a
fifth mother came from the other side of the meadow. She had only one
baby with her.
It was to be a sort of party. But the fawns were most unwilling
acquainted, as their mothers intended them to do. The baby bucks made at
each other with heads lowered, ready to fight. The infant
timidly away to the edge of the meadow. But their mothers insisted, with
gentle shakings of their heads and shovings of their velvet
They were pretty creatures, these baby deer, with their soft
orange-brown coats spotted with white, and their great innocent
eyes! Everything about them, from their slender
legs to their swinging
stride, was graceful.
Now the mothers formed in line, the little ones trailing along behind
them. "Ah!" thought Frisky Fox, "a game of 'Follow the Leader'." He and
his brothers had often played it with Father and Mother Red Fox.
At first the does ran slowly around the clearing, then they quickened
their pace, the little ones trying
their best to keep up.
Suddenly Fleet Foot, who was in the lead, leaped over a fallen log at
the edge of the glade and off into the woodland. The other does
followed. Then came Fleet Foot's youngest. This little scamp only ran
around the log, while her brother crawled under.
But that was not what Fleet Foot wanted. She came back, stamping her
foot for attention.
"Do just as I do!" she insisted. "Now come back and try it over again."
And she trotted out into the glade, and circled around it, the tinier
fawn close at her heels, till she came to the log again.
"Now!" she stamped, taking
the leap once more. The fawn followed till
she came to the log, then stopped short, with her nose against it. Fleet
Foot hurdled back, and coming up behind, butted the youngster
head till the fawn tried to jump. This time the little creature went
over, as light as a bit of thistle-down--probably much to her own
Then Fleet Foot turned to the larger fawn. "Come, now, there's nothing
like trying," she urged. But he only gave a ba-a-ah! and wriggled under
the tree-trunk again.
"Follow me," his mother bade him. First she led him several times around
the glade. "Now!" she stamped, leaping the log once more. This time he
followed without stopping to think about it.
The other fawns behaved much the same way, but at last their mothers had
them all in line. Then what a race they had! First around and around the
opening, faster and faster and faster. Then, without warning, across the
log and back again, till every infant
buck and doe of them could do it
"Um!" sniffed Frisky Fox. "Wouldn't one of those little fellows make
good eating? I'd certainly like to try it!" For the smell of venison
that blew to his nostrils on the breeze
fairly made his mouth water.
But Frisky was too wise a pup to think for an instant
he could catch
one. And so he finally trotted off to stay his appetite
with field mice.
But he told Father Red Fox about it that night in the den on the
hillside, and the older fox made up his mind that next day he would be
the one to watch when the fawns came to the meadow. If he couldn't catch
one, at least he liked to know all that went on in the woods. One never
knew when an odd bit of knowledge might come in handy to a fellow that
lives by his wits.
That day the fawns were being drilled to run around and around in
circles. They made a track like a figure 8, only with three loops
instead of two. Sometimes one of the little fellows would slip and
"I have it," Father Red Fox told himself. "The fawns are learning
make a quick turn. Because they'd break their legs if they were to
stumble that way in the underbrush."
The old fox knew that he could never catch one by the usual methods. He
did wonder, though, if he might not corner one by trickery. So, gliding
from tree-trunk to tree-trunk, he crept nearer the unsuspecting little
school, keeping always on the side where the wind could tell no tales!
CHAPTER II.--A FOXY TRICK.
Now it was chiefly
in a spirit of mischief
that Father Red Fox decided
to chase the fawns. To tell the truth, the old fellow was proud of his
wits; and though he knew he could not hope to catch them and bring them
down by a straightaway race, he thought he might use some trickery on
So, he watched and waited till he should find them alone. After an hour
or more in the racing meadow, Fleet Foot called to her little ones with
a "He-eu" and a stamp of her little fore-hoof, and led them back to Lone
Lake, where they all waded out after their supper of lily pads. Every
minute of the time Father Red Fox was right behind, but always with the
wind in his face, so that she wouldn't catch his musky scent on the
breeze with that wonderful nose of hers.
Now Father Red Fox knew one thing about Fleet Foot, the doe. He knew
that when she heard a sound that alarmed her, she always ran straight
away from the sound, without once stopping to see what made it. No
sooner, therefore, was she neck-deep in Lone Lake, with her back to the
shore, than he cracked
a twig behind her.
The doe, hearing
of course it must be Old Man Lynx, at
least, or perhaps a big black bear, as nothing so small and dainty
fox ever made a sound like that.
She was terribly
frightened, and whistling the fawns to follow, she swam
straight across the Lake, never once stopping for breath
scrambled up the opposite bank.
But Father Red Fox had raced around the upper end of the Lake, just far
enough back in the woods so that she couldn't see him. And the instant
the tired little family planted their hoofs on dry ground, Red Fox,
hiding behind a boulder, cracked
an even larger twig, and made them
think there was another bear on that side of the Lake.
So she had to lead them back across the Lake again, to the third line of
shore. But Father Red Fox was there before her and cracked
to make her think there was a bear on that side, too.
This time the fawns were fairly gasping for breath, their little spotted
sides heaving painfully
and their big eyes round with fright. But there
was no help for it; Fleet Foot had to make them swim back across the
Lake to the fourth bank, where she hoped to get into the woods before
the three bears could catch her. She was quite worn out, herself, by
now, and it was only the fear of death that kept her in the race at all.
But finally up the bank she stumbled, and on down a forest trail, her
fawns following desperately.
Father Red Fox laughed as he ran around the Lake. They were all so worn
out that it should be an easy matter to corner them. In fact, that
wicked fellow had one of the meanest plans in his black heart that ever
deserved the name of a foxy trick. And so far it had worked.
Fleet Foot, believing she had nothing less than a bear on her trail,
raced on and on till her flanks dripped foam and her legs felt weak and
wobbly--which was just what the old fox intended. On he raced after her,
knowing she wouldn't stop even to turn her head.
Then, suddenly, he made a short cut in the trail and headed her straight
toward a brush heap. The tired doe drew her trembling legs together for
the leap that would carry her over in safety. But there was not quite
enough spring left in those delicate
hind quarters. She came down too
soon, catching one of her slim feet in the brush. It broke her leg.
Ah, but Red Fox had hoped it would be one of the fawns. Fleet Foot he
dared not approach, because she could strike him with her sharp
fore-hoofs, and punish
him severely. In fact, had she known it was only
a fox behind her, she would have stopped to face him long ago.
The fawns--little rascals that they were--had not tried to leap the
brush heap; they had left the trail and gone around it, hiding--when
their mother fell--by crawling under a juniper bush. And there they
waited, without so much as waggling an ear, till Red Fox had given up
his quest in disgust
and trotted away home.
But their troubles were not ended. For one thing, they were hungry.
Besides, what was Fleet Foot to do, helpless
there where a real bear
might find her?
Just then they heard a cowbell.
Clover Blossom, the soft-eyed Jersey at the Valley Farm, must have found
a broken place in the pasture
fence, and wandered into the woods again.
She loved to go exploring.
This time she gave the Boy a chase. Here it was, nearly dark! Straining
his ears to catch the sound, he decided
he must creep very softly
her, or she would never let him catch her.
The Boy, however, was not the only one to hear the tinkle
cowbell. Though Clover Blossom grazed quite unaware
that she was being
watched, as an actual
fact she had quite an audience
of wood folk around
her, peering and sniffing and studying the situation. Softly, silently,
creeping through the hazel copse, came Frisky, the fox pup, as curious
as his nose was long. Then came Bobby, Madame Lynx's kitten, to whose
nostrils the odor was most tempting, though he did not dare attack an
animal so large. Crouched flat along a low-hanging branch, he peered and
peered with his narrow gold-green eyes, his claws workingnervously
Came also Unk-Wunk, the Porcupine, rattling his slow way up a beech tree
from whose top he could see all that was going on. He, too, watched
curiously as the Jersey wandered from one huckleberry bush to another,
now and then as she realized that she needed to be