Unlike Lydia McKenzie in Posed for Murder, I was raised in the country. Wildlife in general doesn’t scare me. At least I’m not usually freaked out by the kind of wildlife that lives in Virginia. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my share of frightening animal encounters.
I really hate snakes, and have no desire to pet one or–God forbid–keep one as a pet. Once I picked up what I thought was a piece of black rubber on the ground only to have a 3-foot black snake slither out of my hand. I still shiver when I think about it. I’ve unfortunately passed my dislike onto my son–he can’t even look at a picture of a snake without getting scared.
I’m not frightened of bees, but I seem to be some sort of hornet magnet. I’ve probably stepped in hornet’s nests at least twice. Hornets get pretty mad when you invade their home. I was stung all over my body, including several times on the bottom of my foot inside my shoe. Ouch! The only way to get them to stop stinging me was to strip off all my clothes and jump under the shower.
We never had any bears around when I was growing up, so I haven’t had much experience with them. My brother is a river guide, and once my husband and I went to kayak a river with him in Tennessee. He warned us that a teenage bear had been hanging around the campground. We went to sleep, lulled by the sound of the rapids, only to be awakened in the middle of the night by a bear’s roar and the barking of dogs. I had never heard a bear roar before, but the sound was unmistakable and primal. We huddled in our little fabric tent just hoping he wouldn’t see us as a possible crunchy snack.
The next morning, not at all refreshed but in one piece, we found out that the bear had been treed by the campground’s dogs. A ranger came the next day with a dart gun, hoping to catch him and take him further into the mountains. And we were just as happy to travel back to civilization and sleep in a bed undisturbed by bears. Ah, city life!
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