Daisy and Daphne are twin does who were born last year. Daphne is the more outgoing of the two and usually speaks for them. They are part of a close-knit herd of deer. They still live with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Buck.
One day at the end of December, they return home very excited.
Daphne: Guess what, Daddy? Stag is having a New Year’s Eve party and we’re invited! May we go? Everyone’s going to be there.
Mr. B: No, you may not.
Daphne: Why not, Daddy? He seemed so nice at the Grizzlies’ party. I’m sure nothing bad will happen.
Mr. B: I happen to know that the reason he was so well-behaved was because Mr. G threatened to eat him in the spring is he wasn’t.
Daphne: You don’t really believe that silly rumor, do you Daddy? Please? We’ll be the only young deer who won’t be there. Everyone will laugh at us and call us fawns.
Mr. B: The answer is no, and that’s final.
The girls go to their bedding places in tears.
The next day when all the young does get together, Daphne and Daisy find out that none of the others could go either.
Violet: This is so unfair. They’re treating us like fawns.
The others nod in agreement.
Daisy (timidly): Maybe we could have our own party.
Jasmine: Wow, Daisy. You never say anything. That’s a great idea!
Daphne: No one can object if it’s just us.
Daphne’s right. All the fathers agree it was the perfect solution. Being the most assertive, Daphne plans everything and hands out tasks.
Meanwhile, Stag finds out that the does would be having their own party rather than coming to his. What was the point of a party with no does? He had to find a way around the problem. But what?
New Year’s Eve arrives. The does get to the meadow and set everything up. They have grass and berries to eat. There’s a stream nearby to drink from, and lots of space to run around in.
Violet: This is perfect. I’m glad it’s only us. We don’t have to worry about impressing the boys.
Daphne: But Stag is so handsome! Did you see his antlers?
Jasmine (giggling): You know what they say about the size of a buck’s antlers.
Daisy: Jasmine! How could you say something like that?
Daisy lowers her head in embarrassment. The other does laugh.
Jasmine: Besides, Daisy, you might be the first one of us to find out. You know that Billy likes you. He spends all of his time watching you.
Daisy: Really? I hadn’t noticed
Daphne: She’s probably telling the truth. She doesn’t even know I’m there half the time.
Daisy: That’s not true!
Daphne (laughing): What about the time you were looking all over for me, and I was asleep in bed?
Daisy: I guess I do daydream a lot. Do you really think he likes me?
All the other does laugh.
Violet: Apparently you’re the only one who doesn’t know. (Pauses) I wonder if we can jump over the stream.
Amber: I bet I can.
She takes off running and lands on the other bank. The dirt gives way and she lands in the water. She looks at the others; they shake their heads “no”. Each one takes a turn. The only one who can land on the other side is Daphne. The other does are jumping around and splashing in the water.
Daphne: Shhh! I think I hear something in the bushes.
The others get out of the stream as quietly as possible There is definitely something behind the bushes. Panicked, they try to decide which way to run. As they start to run away from the bushes, they hear a familiar voice.
Stag: Girls! Don’t run away! It’s only us. We got bored by ourselves and decided to come over to see what you’re doing.
He looks very handsome, standing there and tossing his head. There are several young bucks with him. They have food and something to drink. The girls aren’t sure what to do.
Daphne: Stag! You can’t stay here. You know we’re not allowed to be with you.
Stag looks at her with big brown eyes.
Stag (sounding hurt): Are you kicking us out? We won’t hurt you. I promise. And I want you to try my special party mix. I think you’ll like how it makes you feel.
Stag wasn’t really sure what the special ingredient was. He had been in the forest and saw a field with some type of grass he couldn’t identify. He started to eat some of it and a human came out of the woods with a gun. He was waving the gun around and said. “Deer, you eat my weed and I’ll shoot you. Get out of here!” Stag had been very confused. He thought humans didn’t like weeds. In a few minutes he felt so relaxed he fell asleep. The next time he didn’t eat as much and just felt calm. He thought the girls might let them stay if they ate some.
Daphne: I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try it. But after that, you have to leave.
The elder Bucks were relaxing at home. Suddenly they heard a crashing sound. Startled, they looked up and saw Violet’s father, Tiny. He was called Tiny because he was the largest deer in the forest.
Tiny: Hello, neighbors! I was out getting a snack and thought I’d stop by to see the girls. It’s getting dark, and I thought an escort home might be a good idea.
Mr. B: Excellent idea! I’ll come with you.
With Tiny stopping to graze regularly, it took the bucks a while to get to the meadow. When they arrived, they found the bucks and does sitting in a circle talking.
Mr. B: I thought we said no bucks.
Tiny: Actually we said no Stag. Let’s find out what’s going on. (Steps in.) Hi girls, how’s it going?
Violet (startled): Hi, Daddy. What are you doing here? (Looks at the bucks.) We were just talking.
Billy (stands up): Yes, sir. We heard the girls having fun in the water and came over. I hope we didn’t get anyone in trouble.
Mr. B: I guess there’s no problem. You boys are all part of the herd. (Looks around) Daisy, where’s Daphne?
Daisy (vaguely): She around here somewhere.
Mr. B: WHERE IS SHE?
Daisy points her nose toward the river. Mr. B walks over and finds Daphne and Stag nuzzling by the river.
The other deer can’t make out what is being said, but Stag comes crashing through the meadow into the woods. Daphne and Mr. B join the others.
Mr. B: Tiny, would it be OK for Daisy to walk home with you? I need to speak with Daphne privately.
Tiny nodded and all the other deer left the two of them in the meadow.