I was just walking peacefully in the meadow, pausing every now and then to lower my head and nibble on some sweet, golden flowers. The ending Summer air had the aroma of Fall, carrying with it a calming, gentle cool breeze. I knew that soon the bucks would fill the forests with their cries, and draw me to them with the desire to mate. But right now I simply wanted to enjoy myself, skipping from cloud shadow to cloud shadow in the soft grass.

The low crunching of grass caught my attention, and I turned my head, my ears flicking up. A lone, white flower petal drifted from my lips and vanished in the grass. With my great, black eyes I surveryed the scene but beheld nothing out of the ordinary. Yellow and orange butterflies chasing each other, grasshoppers springing up and darting away with their translucent wings, and dragonflies humming passed my ears. All seemed well. Seemed.

As I turned back to an especially delicious clover patch, careful not to set my hoof down on a tiny green caterpillar, I heard it again. The crunching.

I wondered why other creatures could not be as delicate as me, or as quiet as me. It did not seem right for others to go stomping and ripping and tearing through the fields without any consideration, while I was constantly berating myself for over-turning dead leaves. I again raised my head and looked around, and for a moment I held my breath, my ears straining to hear it again. But nothing.

It must be a rabbit, I thought. They try to be calm, but they are small and do not remember to be calm always. They are not like me.

I moved on to a sunny place beside a tree, the tree's shadow being cast away from me. A rustle in the tree made me look up, but I realized that it was only the wind brushing the leaves. It is such a nice day, I thought, my fur swaying in the breeze not unlike the grass.

I chewed what was still in my mouth, watching a trail of reddish ants pass between my legs. They were marching determinedly towards the tree, as if what was there was worth their effort. A curious ant crawled up my hoof and buried itself beneath my fur, tickling my skin. Quickly I lowered my head and rubbed the spot with my chin until the ant was no more.

I walked a few feet away from the tree and squatted a bit, peeing in the grass. As I waited to finish, I noticed an odd smell in the air. It was not from my urine, no. It seemed like a creature, perhaps one I had not seen before. Musky, thick, and hot. Where did it come from?

Sniffing, I looked around. There! I saw something black, twitching above the grass not three yards from me. Then I heard the grass crunch, and the black thing moved closer. It all made sense now. I felt quite proud of myself. Now all I had to do was find out what sort of creature this was.

I stepped forward carefully, ears up and alert, watching the black thing twitch. It's such a small thing, I thought. Yet its odor is so strong. Perhaps it's a type of skunk? As I drew closer, I saw it was not only black, but orange, in stripes! What an odd thing, I thought, wrinkling my nose. I stopped walking, the smell making me uneasy.

A rumble in the earth shook my hooves. I glanced up at the sky, but the clouds were all a happy, fluffy white. That could not have been thunder, I thought fearfully. I took a step back. Then I saw it.

A beast with a face of orange and black, eyes bright and yellow in the sunlight, a ghastly grin of razor-sharp teeth exposed beneath a flat pink nose. Its paws stretched before it, black claws curling eagerly in the dirt. Its tail, for that was indeed what it was, stood up like a flag above the grass, twitching the very tip.

My muscles spasmed. Run, I thought desperately, and I turned my body and kicked off of the ground. Like lightning I felt, my legs jolting forwards and back, my hooves beating into the earth. The wind rushed along my ears and sang to me, and on any other day I would have sang back, but today I was terrified.

A roar unlike any I had ever heard, like a scream of a rabbit with the anger of thunder, erupted from behind me. Then, joined with my rapid, light-footed sprints, a massive, thudding surge charged after me.

I tried to be quick, I really did. But I was afraid, and my heart was beating harder than I thought my chest could contain. I tore across the field in zig-zags and in a panic I stuck my leg in a snake's hole and tripped. As I rolled, I looked back.

The creature's mouth spread open, and I saw rows of white, white teeth, enuciated by the light of the sun. A thick pink tongue covered in saliva lolled to the back of its mouth, and the beast hurtled itself towards me with a ferocity that held me still.

Right before its jaws clamped down on my neck, I looked away, hoping that it would not want me after all. But then I felt its teeth rip into my flesh and expose my blood to the world. Bones, little ones at first, ground together and crunched under the force of its jaws. In anguish I let out howl to which all the other forest creatures fled from. I kicked out with my legs, beating the creature in the stomach, but then it swatted me with its paw and held me down with the other. It opened its mouth and I watched as it licked its bloody lips, enjoying my flavor, before throwing its face at my throat and tearing me apart.