Once upon a time, in deep dark forest, lived a reindeer with only one horn. He was very lonely for his family had abandoned him and none of the other reindeer herds would accept him.
Every day he wandered through the evergreen forest, eating grass and leaves. He would go down to the river and drink the cold water before walking onwards. He experienced the changing of the seasons and all kinds of weather. In the winter, he would freeze in snow blizzards and slip on ice. In the spring, he would eat baby shoots and enjoy the sun warming his back. In summer, he basked in the heat and bathed in the river. In autumn, he watched the leaves falling and tried to find shelter from the rainfall. However, no matter the day or night or weather, he wished he had a friend.
Then one day, when the reindeer went for his drink, he saw a man standing behind a tree. Men were rare in the forest and this one was the first the reindeer had seen. He raised his head and watched the man cut down a small tree. Then the man stripped down some of the twigs and began cutting the bigger branches off. When the tree was bare, the man began chopping the trunk up.
The reindeer decided to cross the river and speak to him. Entering then getting out of the cold water on the other side, he went up to the man.
‘What are you doing?’ the reindeer asked.
The man turned to him and because the man was born and brought up in the forest and knew the ways of nature, he was not afraid of the reindeer.
‘I’m chopping wood to burn,’ the man replied.
‘Why?’ asked the reindeer.
‘Because the winter nights are cold and unlike you, my family and I don’t have fur coats.’
‘You have a family?’
‘Yes, a wife and daughter.’
‘I have no one,’ spoke the reindeer, sadly.
‘Why?’ the man cried.
‘Because of my one horn,’ the reindeer explained.
‘Well, that’s just terrible, you must be so lonely.’
The reindeer nodded, ‘I am very much.’
The man thought then said, ‘how would you like to come home with me? I could sure use your help.’
‘Oh, yes please! I’d love that,’ the reindeer cried.
‘Firstly, I must finish chopping the wood, then you can help me take it home,’ the man stated.
The reindeer stood back and watched the man chop up the rest of the tree trunk. The man then tied up some logs and branches and made a loop at the other end, so he could put it around the reindeer. Then he tried up some more and put the rope over his shoulder, then he led the reindeer through the forest.
Soon, they arrived at a little wooden cabin. The man took the rope off the reindeer and began stacking the log with some others at the side of the cabin. The reindeer shook his coat and looked around with great interest.
The door to the cabin opened and out rushed the daughter and wife. They stopped when they saw the one horned reindeer. The man came between them and patting the nervous reindeer, introduced him to his family.
‘Hello, Mr. Reindeer,’ the daughter said.
‘Hello,’ the reindeer replied.
‘Can I stroke your coat? It looks so soft.’
‘Of course,’ the reindeer said.
The man picked his daughter up and she stroked the reindeer.
‘It is soft!’ she cried.
‘I have told this reindeer he can stay with us. He has no family and is very lonely,’ the man explained.
‘Of course, you must stay,’ the wife spoke and she petted the reindeer’s muzzle.
‘Thank you. I know I’m going to be very happy from now onwards,’ the reindeer stated.
And he was.
-This story was created with the help of the young people at my local youth center.-