The smell of cinnamon filled the house as Oma baked her famous oatmeal cookies. She was hard at work making sure that her cookie jar never went empty. Trying to keep up with the appetite of the grand kids and Opa was a never-ending task. Opa walked through the kitchen, taking three cookies off the counter. Oma laughed and then smacked him on his butt, “Those are for the grand-kids.”
“Ouch, that hurts. Those bruises from where the fawn head butted my derriere are still there.” Opa shook his head. “Oma, that fawn is evil. Why would he hurt me like he did. Making me walk the plank. I need to catch him and put him in a zoo. That will keep all of us safe.”
Oma chuckled, “You are being silly. The fawn was just having fun, you are making too much out of that cute little creature. Could you imagine what would have happened if he had horns?”
Opa harrumphed. “Never you mind, I am going to take care of this!”
Opa phoned up his grandson Toby, “Any news on that fawn? You said you would listen in on social media and find out if anyone was chatting about the fawn.”
Toby giggled. “I did Opa. There were a few tweets about a cute fawn running around on Mt. T’zouhalem. He wasn’t shy but when people got too close the fawn would run off.”
“Good work Toby. Where was he last seen?”
“He was behind the cross, on one of the mountain bike trails.”
“Good, I am gonna get him. Gonna catch him like he caught Marbles, with a net.”
“You sure that’s a good idea Opa? Remember how you always get lost on the trails?”
“No problem, I am going to put the tracker on Marbles. If we get lost, I’ll just call you on my cell and you can help.”
“Just remember to take your back pack. I’ve made some modifications to it that might help you.”
“What kind of modifications?”
Knowing that Toby wouldn’t reveal the secret of the backpack until it was needed, Opa hung up and turned to Oma.
“Oma, could I have a bag of cookies?”
“Sure Opa, just make sure you share them.”
“I am gonna share them alright!” Opa huffed and grabbed a dozen of them. “Hey, Marbles, wanna go for a walk?”
Marbles had been napping in front of the fire. She jumped up and got her collar and leash, her brown eye and blue eye changing places a few times in her excitement. Opa threw a rope net, some rope, and a couple of pulleys into the back of his truck, along with the backpack. They climbed into the cab and Opa drove off, going down Maple Bay Road, then up through the Properties, ending up at the parking lot above Kaspa Road.
A couple of the mountain bikers where giving him strange looks when he stuffed the netting into his back back and slung the ropes over his shoulder. Opa ignored them and headed up the trail. It took him an hour to hike to the cross which overlooked the Cowichan Valley. He stood a few feet back from the edge of the cliffs, looking down over the valley, seeing the twin branches of the Cowichan River reaching Cowichan Bay. Somenos Lake was to the right, with Mt. Prevost behind it. He and Marbles enjoyed the view for a moment. Opa took his phone and called his grandson.
“Toby, I am at the cross but I don’t know where to go from here. Any ideas?”
“Yes, the last Facebook sighting shows that he was north east of you, a mountain biker had seen a fawn earlier this morning. She reported she thought she saw the fawn wearing a pirates patch but didn’t trust her own eyes. There is a compass in one of the pockets, use it. Go into the forest about 250 meters.”
“Thanks Toby, on my way”
Scrambling through the forest was difficult. There were branches in the way, some steep banks and it was easy to get lost. Eventually he found a clearing beside a big maple tree. He climbed up the tree and hung a pulley off a big branch above the clearing. Marbles was circling around the tree, her eyes nervously switching places. After climbing down, Opa spread the rope net over the ground, tied it to the rope and placed a bell on the cookie bag before setting Oma’s cookies in the centre of the trap.
“Marbles, you have to be quiet. I am going to climb back up the tree and when the Evil Fawn grabs the cookies, I am going to spring the trap.”
Marbles nodded her head then disappeared into the brush. Opa tied a heavy rock to the other end of the rope, climbed back up the tree, pulled the rock up after him and then waited in the crook of two branches. He was tired from all the work and after waiting a long while he fell asleep.
The bell started to jangle, waking up Opa. He pushed the rock off the tree. It went down and the trap flew up, yelping coming from the net. Looking at the net, Opa saw that Marbles was in the net. He let the net down and let Marbles out.
“Marbles, there are cookie crumbs all over your snout. Did you eat them?”
Marbles nodded her head, her eyes switching places, she licked Opa’s hands. Opa nodded and then phoned Toby. “Problems here, Marbles just ate all the cookies, how am I going to lure the evil fawn into the net now?”
Toby laughed, “Well, you could bend over on one side of the trap, and when the Fawn tries to head butt you, you got him.”
Opa grumbled, “Not funny. What do deer like to eat?”
Continuing to laugh, Toby replied, “Get some young tender Maple leafs. Deer love to eat the leaves out of my Mom’s garden.”
“Good idea Toby, thanks.” Opa climbed back up the tree and picked a handful of leaves and placed them on the trap. He pulled the rock back into the tree and was just settling in for the wait when there was a rustling in the shrubs off the clearing. Opa looked down at Marbles and could see that she was excited, her eyes flashing back and forth, her body quivering. Opa placed his forefinger over his pursed lips and shook his head at Marbles. Just then, a fawn, wearing a pirate patch, stepped into the clearing Marbles couldn’t contain herself and rushed towards the deer. Evil Fawn sprung away through the trees with Marbles chasing after her, barking madly. Opa jumped down and chased after the two of them. Through the trees, up and down hills, along a twisting bicycle trails and back into the forest. Left, right, up and down, Opa got lost in all the turns. He was running hard, full speed, trying to catch up with the two. The barking stopped and Opa ran harder.
He then found himself sailing through the air, ending up suspended above a familiar looking clearing. He had been caught in his own rope trap. The fawn and Marbles both sitting on their haunches, looking up at him. The fawn snickered loudly. Getting up, the fawn rubbed his nose on Marbles nose, then ran off into the forest. Marbles just stayed sitting, looking up at Opa. She kind of looked like she was smiling.
Opa was sputtering away, mumbling to himself, angry that he was caught. Two ravens landed on the branch he was swinging from and looked down. They warbled at each other, then one looked down and winked at Opa before they both flew off. Opa managed to get his phone out and called Toby. “You’ll never believe what happened? That evil fawn is . . .”
Toby couldn’t contain himself. “You got caught in your own trap?” Laughter filled the phone.
“How did you know?”
“Just a lucky guess. Do you need help?”
“Yes, I can’t get out and Marbles can’t help me.”
“You have the back pack on? Can you reach into one of the pockets?”
“Does it matter which pocket? I can only reach one of the side ones.”
“That will do, reach into it and take out the first item you come across.”
Opa reached in and pulled out a pocket knife. “How did you do that Toby? That knife was just what I needed to cut myself out of the trap and it was in the only pocket I could reach.”
“Told you I made some mods to the backpack.”
Lucky for Opa, he was only suspended about four feet off the ground. He cut some of the netting and landed with a thud on the ground. He lay there for a moment sputtering.
His phone rang and it was Toby. “Opa, I was still monitoring social media and a new picture came up on Facebook and twitter. It’s a picture of you hanging in the rope net, scowling at the camera.”
“No way is that possible, The only folk that witnessed my debacle was the Evil Fawn and Marbles, and they never had cameras.”
“Did anything else strange happen?”
“No, well yes. Two ravens came by, chattering away. One winked at me before flying off.”
“That was unusual. Why don’t you gather up all the gear and then bring Marbles over to my house. I believe Mom and Oma are making pizza. We can talk about those ravens more.”
“I hope Oma brought some cookies, they make my bruises feel better. I better hurry up.”
Toby’s links: Mt T’zouhalem Trails
Opa’s links: The Frog on the Mountain