The day was early and the sun just beginning to rise. When the armadillos began to stir. Julie nugded Rome awake.
“Darling, I simply can’t sleep,” her deep brown eyes looked into his. “Please I need to go for a walk. I won’t be long.”
“Not alone.” Rome protested, “I must go with you, for it is still dark and who knows what predators lurk in the forest.”
Into the mist they went, Rome kept his nose close to the ground to smell any signs of danger, nothing approached.
Then in the distance they heard it the dreaded roar and rumble of the great machines. They never trusted them for these particulatr beasts were never satisfied and stopped for no animal. Just as Julie began to turn to go back, a noise was heard. Rome’s small ears pricked up.
It was the desperate sound of a baby fawn, calling to its mother. Without a moments hesitation the two curled into balls and rolled the short distance down the slope to the desperate baby.
There it was, its feet tangled in the thorny vine. The vine must have broken off, and when the youngster tried to cross the road got snagged on a pipe. Now the poor thing was too frightened, it only stared glassy eyed at the oncoming machines.
“Stay here.” Said Rome to Julie. “I will go and help the fawn, with only one of us, there is less chance of a…..” he let his sentence fade.
“Be careful dear, I will keep a look out.” her nose twitched with nervous tension.
Rome ran quickly over to the baby and began gnawing at the cruel vine. It took longer then one would first think and his poor mouth was cut and bleeding by the time he had freed the helpless creature.
The fawn struggled to get to its feet but with little success. As Rome urged it on. Out of no where two bright lights appeared accompanied with the loud roar of a machine. It was coming quickly. He had just enought to time to run out of the way but, he could’t let the poor fawn die.
“Rome!” screamed Julie “Look out.”
“I can’t leave the baby,” he pushed all his weight aganst the fawn and it began to slide accross to safety. A few mighty shoves later and it had gently rolled in a grassy ditch. But now he was in eminant danger as the great merciless wheels approached.
“Rome” she shrieked, “No”, Julie ran accross the road and with all the force of her little body slammed against Rome.
But alas it was a moment to late and the loud machine did not stop. Only a second later it drove into the distance leaving behind to of the bravest armadillos. The impact had blown them into the ditch. Somehow they landed how they had died clutched in eachothers arms.
The leaves fell that night and to the casual observer they looked only they were fast asleep. But their hearts no longer beat and there breath no longer stirred.
Yet they had not lived in vain.
Unlike Romoe and Juliet of old who died from misunderstanding and jealosy these two died sacrifically giving there life in exchange for another’s. The greatest gift one can give.
Photo credit: Monte M. Taylor