The Christmas Quest
By: David Serra
Erin knew she was different from her herd. Ever since she was a fawn she showed signs of being tomboyish and headstrong while other young reindeer does were reserved and gentle. One day, Erin got into a fight with one of the young bucks for calling her a name and won, but at the cost of getting a scolding from the herd’s leader. That night Erin sulked under an evergreen tree when her mother, Joy, nestled beside her.
“Erin, I know you don’t want to be seen as one of the other does,” Joy said, “but please try to be a little nicer.”
“I know Mom,” Erin grumbled, “I just want to do something special one of these days.”
“Oh, like what?”
“Like save someone’s life or something.”
“Yes, that would be nice. For now though, just be grateful for who you are and what you have.”
Erin snuggled closer to Joy and let her gaze go to the starry night sky. Something swiftly flew across the sky, she perked her head up. It was a large sleigh being pulled by eight flying reindeer which vanished into the night just as fast as it came.
“Was that Santa’s sleigh?” she asked.
“Did you ever meet them?”
“No, trust me if I ever met any of Santa’s reindeer I would’ve told you by now.”
Erin nodded and sleepily snuggled up to Joy. The two drifted off to sleep under the tree while Erin started to feel somewhat better.
Over the years that followed, when Erin reached adulthood, she went off on her own one day for a walk in the woods. She let the sounds and sights of winter relax her, something she always enjoyed. The sound of breaking branches made her ears twitch; she turned sharply to where the noises were coming from, a struggling reindeer was stuck in a tree. Cautiously she went over to him; he was wearing a blue and silver harness with a medallion that read: Comet.
“Are you all right?” she asked.
Comet jolted at the sound of her voice. When he saw her his expression went from alarm to relief. “Oh, hello there, I’m stuck can you help me out.”
Erin looked around and picked up a large branch in her mouth. She hoisted it up to him and used it to break away some of the branches, allowing him to break free. Much to her surprise he didn’t fall but rather hover down to the ground before landing, he winced in pain and stumbled before leaning on a tree.
Erin looked at him inquisitively. “Are you one of Santa’s reindeer?”
“That’s right. The name’s Comet.”
“Yeah I know,” she gestured to his medallion.
Comet laughed a little. He tried to fly up but winced again.
“Are you hurt?”
“I think I sprained a couple of my legs.”
Erin swiftly turned away from him, on high alert. Something was watching them from the woods, she could feel it. A grizzly bear erupted from the forest at Comet, he tried to scramble away but couldn’t due to the sprains.
“Go! Save yourself!” He cried.
Erin didn’t run, instead, she charged at the bear and head-butted it into a tree. The bear staggered up and tried to slash at Erin with its claws. She dodged its attacks and, when the time was right, head-butted the bear in the stomach, knocking the wind out of it. The bear tried to catch its breath, Erin pinned the bears head to the ground with her hoof and half-roared, half-screamed in its face. The bear desperately swiped at her, unaware that it was backed against a cliff. Erin knocked the bear off the cliff with one blow from her head and the bear tumbled down into the icy river below. The bear staggered onto the land and ran away as Erin stood triumphantly over the scenery. She turned her attention back to Comet who stared at her in amazement.
“You… You saved me.” He sputtered. “How can I thank you?”
“Let’s just get you out of here first. Here lean on me.”
Erin helped Comet out of the woods where they were greeted by three other reindeer with harnesses and medallions.
“Comet, are you hurt?” asked the reindeer whose medallion read Dancer.
“A few sprains. Nothing’s broken.”
“Good, take him to medical quarters boys.”
The two other reindeer, Dasher and Cupid, helped him onto the stretcher. The three turned their attention to Erin.
“What’s your name ma’am?” asked Dancer.
“You saved one of our members Erin. How can we repay you?”
“Just take care of Comet. I’m glad I could help.”
“Thank you, Erin. We’ll be in touch, you can count on that.”
The reindeer took off into the sky; Comet stared at Erin gratefully before they were out of sight.