Nature’s Wolves

Sometimes nature is our friend and sometimes it’s not. Today it was my nerve-rattling enemy.

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I needed to carry a plate of kitchen scraps to the slop pile at the edge of the woods behind our house so went out the back door, down the ramp, through the carport and was walking out across the driveway when, from out of the corner of my eye, I saw what looked like a small brown animal running toward me making strange clacking sounds with its mouth. It startled me so that my whole body jerked to keep from walking into its path. In the same instant, a very dry cottonwood leaf rolled right in front of me in the stiff wind, clacking as it went. I stared after it with a pounding heart. If you know anything about cottonwood leaves, you’ll know they’re extra noisy. They clatter even when they’re green.

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I went on across the yard, still recovering from the clacking dry leaf, dumped the scraps and came back inside the house. The kitchen was only dimly lit by the twinkle lights above the cabinets so I couldn’t plainly see and when I picked up my phone to tell my Facebook friends of my close encounter with a leaf, my hand brushed against something that felt scaly and rough. I jumped back and my heart startled the second time in about as many minutes. I could think of only one thing and that was that either a big hairy spider or a scratchy roach or maybe even a rough snakeskin had touched me. As soon as I snatched my hand back I recognized my attacker as a piece of pretty blue/gray fungus from off a tree trunk that I had brought inside earlier.

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Im telling you, my heart isn’t going to take any more brushes with nature today. These little wolves have gotten me all jumpy.

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