heart’s desire

They say if you capture a golden deer it has to grant your heart’s desire.

I figured therefore they’d be pretty difficult to catch, so when one started hanging around my backyard I devised all manner of clever traps but I ended up offering it a sugar cube and making conversation. Apparently that counts as capturing.

I wasn’t sure if I’d need a cage or at least a rope for technicality’s sake but it explained (between sugar cube crunches) that as soon as it was on my property it was within my bounds to ask. I said that didn’t really sound like capturing and the deer shrugged and said capturing its attention works better than physically capturing anyway. Then it licked the sticky sugar residue off of my fingers. Its tongue was surprisingly soft.

I asked if it could really grant my heart’s desire, just to clarify, because I wanted to be absolutely certain, and it nodded.

But it said that it could tell I didn’t know what my heart most desired, so it couldn’t grant anything right then and it was sorry about that because I seemed nice.

Then the golden deer asked me politely for another sugar cube and suggested I spend more time with my heart.


About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

Categories: flax-golden


Suddenly Jamie · January 8, 2012 at 10:19 am

No one, not even a golden deer, can help with our wishes unless we know our heart’s desire. Better to start at home and then make our way out into the world in search of the magic that will bring our wishes to life.

Marcheline · January 8, 2012 at 11:31 am

Uh, mister deer? One meeeeeeeeeeeellion dollars, please. As for my heart’s desire, I’ll now have time to find it out… instead of spending eight hours a day working for someone else!

Lisa Ahn · January 8, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Oh, I love the ending. Especially since the deer was polite. You pack so much into so little. Lovely.

Amanda · January 8, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Beautiful! I can relate to that story.

Tyler · January 9, 2012 at 10:39 am

There’s a bit of simple tragedy, there: a deer that can grant the wishes of others but is powerless to produce its own sugar cubes. …Also reminds me of “Chivalry,” a bit, particularly the little run-on at the tail end.

rachel · January 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

awww…..so beautiful….I love you!

Gayle Feyrer · January 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Exquisite deer and charming tale.

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