Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The Banyan Deer by Rafe Martin
A young deer asks his mother to tell him the story of the legendary Banyan Deer. Before the young deer was born the king of the country had his men herd all the deer into an enclosure where the deer could be killed more easily. Each day a deer would be shot and eaten and each day many other deer would be injured trying to avoid the arrow. Finally, the two deer leaders decided that one deer would be chosen each day to be sacrificed so that all the others could remain uninjured. One day the chosen deer was pregnant and asked to be spared just until her baby was born. The Banyan Deer agreed to go in her place. When the king saw this, he offered to spare the Banyan Deer because of his nobility. But the Banyan Deer refused to go free until the king had agreed to spare more and more animals for "how can I be free knowing that others will still suffer?" This book presents a parable about compassion and is very moving.