Chapter 15 Summary
Jody wakes from a nightmare in which he and his father are battling a nest of rattlesnakes. He is thrilled that his father looks no worse than he did last night. Jody starts to do his father’s chores, and Buck Forrester graciously offers to stay and work the farm until Baxter is well enough to work.
Jody convinces his father that he must find and raise the fawn; it is the least he can do since the does saved his father’s life. Mill-wheel helps Jody search for the fawn before he returns to his family. They agree that no one else should have gotten involved in the fight between Oliver and Lem. Mill-wheel assures Jody that the Baxter hogs will be home by sundown. Jody is concerned that Fodder-wing is sick. Mill-wheel says his brother is not like the rest of the Forresters: “Seems like he drinks air ‘stead ‘o water, and feeds on what the wild creeturs feed on, ‘stead ‘o bacon.” Mill-wheel promises to send word to Jody when Fodder-wing is well again.
Jody wants to meet the fawn alone, in a lovely and secret meeting. He finds the doe’s carcass and is then able to find the fawn, a male. Jody approaches the animal carefully and sweetly; it weighs no more than Old Julia but has long, gangly legs. Jody is enchanted by the helpless creature and carries it home.
Ora is not convinced the fawn should stay, but Baxter makes it clear that the fawn belongs to Jody just as Old Julia belongs to him. The fawn will always be welcome here. Jody feeds him and makes him a bed in the barn. Baxter is recovering, Buck is working hard to improve the farm, and Jody is sure he will never be lonely again.