Once upon a time a long time ago in a far off land their lived a pair of twin fawns. One was as white as fresh snow, and the other the deep color of brown earth. They lived with their mother and father in an apple orchard. Food was plentiful and the weather warm and sunny. Life was good. They played chase with the squirrels and chipmunks and at night settled into a warm nest with their mother.
One day the twins ran off to play only to return to find their father dead, shot by hunters. They mourned his loss and felt dread about their future. Mother deer became sad and would not eat. She just sat and sat and soon died of starvation. (Or maybe a broken heart). The twins were also very sad. Now, having to make their own way in the world, they did not know what to do. They decided to go to a place only heard of in stories told to them from the animals in the orchards: the ancient forest in the north. The white fawn thought that they would find safety and sanctuary there.
So, their journey began. Up through mountains, across rushing rivers and meadows, onward to a mysterious place.
White Fawn and Brown Fawn were drinking water from the river when they heard a voice. “Help, help”, it cried. White fawn saw a small red fox drowning in the current. She swam out into the middle of the river and told the fox to jump on her back, and they both swam safely to shore. When the red fox recovered his senses, he thanked White Fawn and promised to return the favor in her time of need.
The three of them spent the night together huddled under a thicket. The fox told tales of the ancient forest in the north, including a tale about a hideous giant troll that terrorized all the animals. Fox described how the troll ate whole stags, does, and other wild animals live and how the troll was cruel and hated beauty. He was so ugly himself that the sight of beauty enraged him. So, the troll set out to destroy all that was good and beautiful.
When the sun rose the next morning all three grazed on sweet berries, moss and drank from the river. The fox then went on his way. White Fawn and Brown Fawn felt frightened about the hunters and trolls, but it did not stop them from continuing on their journey.
Soon they heard the haunting sound of the great white owl. Even though it was mid-day the forest grew dark. The vegetation was dense with overgrown vines that seemed to be strangling the beautiful old trees. The twins were troubled by what seemed to be a dying forest. The smell was dank, moldy and heavy with death. In the distance they heard the cry of captured animals. They had arrived at the ancient forest of the north.
White Fawn felt deep sadness seeing the devastation in the great old forest and wondered how she and her twin brother could survive. Had their plan to live in the ancient forest been a terrible mistake? If that was true, she thought, then the two of them had to find a way to help the trees and free the animals from the evil powers of the troll. They had to restore the forest to its beauty and vitality.
The twins decided to rest for the night and huddled under a great old oak. The moon was full, the stars sparkling in the sky. They heard a voice. It was coming from the old oak tree. “Please,” cried the oak, “free my limbs from these vines, they are choking me.” The fawns thought about how to help, and decided to use their hooves to crush and cut the vines, first down low and then up high.
“Thank you”, said the great old oak tree, “now I can breathe and move.” The old oak told the pair about the history of the forest and of a great white wizard who lived in a cave by the lake. Years before, the wizard had been tricked by the troll and turned into a stone column. Since that time, the troll had its
gained power and was destroying life in the forest. Old oak asked the twin fawns to go and release the wizard from the stone, for the wizard was the only one who could control the troll. Great oak told the fawns the only way this could be done was through a magic song: they had to sing a magic song to the stone wizard when the troll was out of sight, and they would know when to sing. If this happened then balance and beauty could be restored.
The twins— having nothing to lose but their lives— decided to try and help. The next morning they headed towards the lake. Summer was fading into fall, and the twins were reaching maturity. Their life together in the orchards seemed like a distant dream.
They reached the lake and saw the cave. Everything was dead silent. The pair slowly approached the cave. White fawn felt her heart start to beat very fast. Something was not right. The two entered the cave. Out of nowhere leapt the troll, snarling and screeching like a banshee out of hell. The two young deer were trapped. They had nowhere to run and no way to defend themselves. They both collapsed onto the floor of the cave. The troll put them into a cage.
A stone column stood in the middle of the cave reaching high up to the ceiling and deep down into the earth. That was what was left of the wizard. The troll decided to cook the twin fawns. He was busy constructing a spit to roast them on, when suddenly out of the corner of her eye White Fawn saw the fox. He signed silence. While the troll was busy the fox crept over and unlocked the cage door so both fawns could escape. The fox then ran up to the troll and began taunting him. The troll ran out of the cave after the fox. White Fawn and Brown Fawn ran up to the column and sang the magic song. With a roaring thundering sound, the old wizard, with a wooden staff, appeared before them. In a loud voice he sang out the magic words that would shrink the troll down to a size he could manage. The wizard laughed with joy. Laughter and singing erupted throughout the forest: the trees, plants, flowers and animals all rejoiced.
The wizard then went over to the twin fawns, and recited magic words of being. Suddenly, the two were transformed into one. They were no longer twin fawns, but a beautiful young woman. Then the wizard touched the fox with his staff and he was transformed into a handsome young man. All was well. The couple married. They had a long and happy life together with many children.