It was narrated by Al-Hafith Abu Naim Al-Asbahani, may Allah rest his sole, in his book "The proofs of Prophethood" that it was narrated by Sulaiman Ibn Ahmad, narrated by Muhammad Ibn Uthman Ibn Abu Shabiba, narrated by Ibrahim Ibn Muhammad Ibn Maimun, narrated by Abd Al-Karim Ibn Hilal Al-Ja’fy, narrated by Salih Al-Murri, narrated by Thabit Al-Banani, narrated by Ans Ibn Malik who said,
"The prophet – peace be upon him – passed by a tribe who had captured a deer and tied it to a granite column. THE DEER SAID, ‘O prophet! I have been captured and I have a young buck. Allow me to go feed it and I shall return.’ So the prophet said, ‘To whom does this deer belong?’ The tribe replied, ‘To us, O prophet.’
The prophet responded, ‘Released her so that she may go feed her young buck and she will return to you.’ The tribesmen asked, ‘And who will guarantee us this?’ The prophet replied, ‘I will.’ So they released the deer, which went and fed its buck and then returned and was tied again.
The prophet (later) passed by again and saw the deer and asked, ‘To whom does this deer belong?’ The tribesmen said, ‘To us, O prophet.’ The prophet then said, ‘Sell her to me.’ But they replied, ‘She is yours (for free),’ so the prophet said to them, ‘Then release her.’ Thus they released her and she left them."
Abu Naim also related that it was narrated by Ahmad Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Al-Ghatrifi, narrated by Ahmad Ibn Musa Ibn Ans Ibn Nasr Ibn Ubaid Allah Ibn Muhammad Ibn Sireen who is from Al-Basra, narrated by Zakariah Ibn Yahya Ibn Khalad, narrated by Haban Ibn Aghlab Ibn Tamim, narrated by Hisham Ibn Hasan, narrated from Al-Hasan, narrated from Daba Ibn Muhsin, narrated by Um Salamah the wife of the prophet who said,
"When the prophet – peace be upon him – was once in the desert he heard a caller saying, ‘O prophet of Allah! O prophet of Allah!’ The prophet said he looked around but could not see anyone so he walked a little further. He again heard a caller saying, ‘O prophet of Allah! O prophet of Allah!’ He looked around but again could not find anyone. The caller cried again so the prophet followed the voice until he came to a deer that was tied with a rope.
The prophet saw a Bedouin lying down next to it, sleeping in the sun. THE DEER SAID, ‘O prophet of Allah! This Bedouin hunted me down but I have a young buck in this mountain. If you see it fit to release me that I may go and feed it, I promise that I shall return again.’ The prophet asked, ‘And you shall return?’ THE DEER ANSWERED, ‘May I be tortured with the torment of a sinner if I do not do so.’ So the prophet released her and she went and fed her buck and returned.
While the prophet was tying her up again, the Bedouin woke up and said to the prophet, ‘By my father and mother, O prophet I captured this deer a short while ago, but do you have need for her?’ The prophet replied, ‘Yes’, so the Bedouin said to him, ‘Then she is yours.’ The prophet released her and she pranced joyfully into the desert, kicking with her hind legs and saying, ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that you are the prophet of Allah.’