By Kelly Faris
As told to some residents of Columbia Heights on Wednesday
December 31st, 2003:
Hello. My name is Toby. I am 8 months old. I live
over here in your city inside the big fence. I love the apples and
carrots you all throw to me. I don’t much like the potatoes or alfalfa
you gave me, mom does though. My brother Joey and I love to play
games out in the big open field. We chase each other and run as
fast as we can, back and forth across the snow, up and down the
hill, through the trees, and around the adults. Sometimes the bucks
get mad at us when we play too close to them so we run away when
they get mad. I have noticed a lot of you coming to the fence yesterday
and saying “I’m sorry”. I don’t know what that means. Why are you
crying when you speak to us? I’m too little to understand and mom
won’t tell us what it all means. She says I will understand it when
I am older.
Today so far, even though it is still dark and very
early, many of you have been standing along the fence line talking
to us and making loud noises. There are a lot of big loud cars and
trucks going in and out today. There are a lot of new people in
here. Why are they dressed so strangely? What are all those things
they are carrying and why are they coming in the woods where we
sleep? Why are they climbing up in our trees? Why are they scaring
us? My mother, Daisy, told Joey and me to run away from them as
fast as we could. We looked back and saw our friends and relatives
running around really scared. I saw some of those people trying
to chase us back into the woods with cars and keeping my friends
in there with orange fences. My mother and Joey and I got out just
in time. We turned again to see the people in there hurting the
others. I saw my playmates crying out in pain and trying to run
but they couldn’t. I saw my aunt Rosie running as fast as she could
to get out but the strange people chased her back into the dark
woods and I never saw her again. I saw my cousin Butter running
really fast but all of a sudden something flew out of nowhere and
stuck into her little belly as she cried out and fell.
Now mom and Joey and I are hiding out in a stand of
trees away from the dark forest. It is light out now and I have
seen more scary things than I can tell you about. I am so scared.
Mom keeps saying everything will be OK but why is she shaking? What
is going on. Oh no, here comes another one of those cars. Mom says
we have to run again. My legs are so tired and achy from running.
I never got to eat anything this morning. I’m so sleepy why did
they wake us up so early? My belly hurts. They are making us go
back into the bad place again. Why won’t you help us? Why are they
doing this to us? I don’t think I can keep up anymore I am so tired,
mom keeps telling me to keep going, Joey is falling behind us.
We are in the woods again now and I’m really scared,
mom doesn’t know where to go. I can’t see Joey anymore, where did
he go? What happened to him? Mom and I are still running around
trying to get away. I hurt my leg really bad; I tripped and banged
it on a log I couldn’t make it over. There’s so much going on. Oh
no, mom got hit with one of those things. She yelled and fell down.
Get up mom! Get up! She’s trying to run but she’s bleeding a lot. “Run
my little Toby! Run away as fast as you can and don’t look back!
I love you!”. I’m so scared, why is all this happening, I don’t
I think I am safe for now, I am hiding in some bushes.
Nope, some of those strange men are coming towards me. Oww! I think
one of those things hit me too! It hurts so bad, I can’t move. I
have to run. Oww, I want my mom! I can’t run anymore. Ouch there’s
another one in my leg. It hurts. Why is this happening? I can’t
breathe, I’m choking. It’s so cold. All I wanted was some of your
apples and carrots.
“Toby” as he came to be known, was one of the 38 slaughtered
fawns, does, and bucks on that last dark day in 2003. He will be
deeply missed by all who knew of him.