Went hiking with my daughter, Elizabeth, yesterday evening. There's a nice little park in Thompson's Station with fairly extensive walking trails on the south end of the park, near the water tower.
We saw an owl, so, with her new birthday-gift SLR camera in hand, Elizabeth shushed and gestured for me to stop while she took pictures. She got some good ones, including one with its head turned all the way around, watching us with those big eyes. Don't ask me what type it was. I'm not an ornithologist, though I am impressed with myself for using that word.
Unfortunately, other than several squirrels and one chipmunk, that was the extent of our animal encounters. I was actually hoping for a snake, just to get a reaction from Elizabeth. Feeling lost at one point — I told you those trails were extensive — it occurred to me to bring up Apple Maps on my phone to see if it remembered where I parked my car. It did! Not sure how it does that, but, whatever.
My relief was short-lived, for another hiker showed up right after that. Sneaked up, really. Hadn't made a sound until all of a sudden he was there, behind us.
He was a white guy, bigger than me and younger, too. Us white guys are much more likely to be psycho killers, unfortunately, especially those who hang out in the woods. The most worrying part was that he was dressed all in black, including his hoodie… with the hood up… on a warm day. Kinda looked like the composite sketch of the Unabomber from back in the day, without sunglasses.
I whispered to Elizabeth, “If he attacks us, you run while I hold him off.” Seriously.
[Stay tuned for part two, though some of the suspense is gone since you already know I lived to tell the tale.]