Ok, so I’ve spent the last four months sitting in the passenger seat of my own car with my son behind the wheel. As hair raising as giving driving lessons to someone you still think of as being ten-and-a-half can be, I’ve discovered a pastime that’s even more frightening. Walking.
You’re probably thinking I’ve lost my mind. After all, what could be so scary about a peaceful walk down a quiet, country road, surrounded by birds and wilflowers — a place where you can walk for miles and barely see another soul? Well, it’s not the human souls I’m worried about. It’s the big, furry, black ones. Diamond Girl and Emmy Lou. Otherwise known as “The Girls.”
The Girls have been very naughty since awakening from their winter’s nap this year. They’ve trampled my lily beds. Destroyed four of my bird feeders. At a neighbor’s house, they tore off the vinyl siding in search of a hive some prolific honey bees had built underneath. Diamond Girl and her two daughters ventured into our yard last night while I was writing. Lucille came charging to the window in my office, tail whipping, barking joyously. Not her intimidating ‘stranger bark,’ but one that clearly said, “Let’s play.” Heck, she probably thought they were overgrown Labs. I glanced out the window just in time to see the trio lumbering across the yard. I gotta admit it. They were cute. From this side of the window. I love wildlife as much as the next gal, however…
I don’t wish to encounter them unawares on a lonely country road while I’m out for my daily exercise. But I also don’t want to give up my walks. What to do?
Remembering something I’d heard about bears being afraid of loud noises, I considered taking along a pair of pots and pans, clanging them together as I walked. But that would be silly. Then I remembered something else I’d heard about bears being afraid of fire. Hmm…
Patting myself on the back for my amazing problem solving skills, I headed to the Dollar General and bought myself a Tiki Torch and a lighter. Plan was, if I ran into The Girls, I could simply light up the torch and wave it at them. Back home, I pulled on my walking shoes and filled the torch with lamp oil just as my son entered the kitchen. He asked about the torch, so I happily told him my plan.
He stared at me. “You’re not actually going to carry that thing down the road in broad daylight, are you?”
“Because you’ll look ridiculous.”
“To who? There’s no one around, remember?”
“Well yeah, but still…”
From the perspective of an athletic sixteen-year-old who can run the 200-Meter sprint in 26.4 I guess it did seem a little odd. I mean, a forty-six-year-old crazy lady in pink Capris marching down the road carrying a Tiki Torch, like some sort of modern day cavewoman.
But hey, the way I see it, that in itself has gotta scare ’em.