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Tales from the Hole #3 Reverie Interrupted

Hole in the Ground has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. I can’t believe the clouds, majestic march across the sky…Oooo, I’m waxing poetic…what’s this? Dog poop? Here? Looks fresh. Maybe coyote. Gee, that would be awesome to see one.

In the midst of my reverie I am startled by a great, mottled gray form. Big, beautiful with steely yellowish-tan eyes. The biggest coyote I’ve ever seen. Once my startle is over I’m thoroughly intrigued. We stare at each other for half a minute or more.  As I’m examining him the creature takes two steps towards me and bares his teeth in a movie snarl. The adrenaline jolt surges into my system and my knees almost buckle. My calves are instantly sore. I take two steps back and turn to walk away only to be confronted by another coyote bigger than the first, black with a broken fang that is revealed as it bares its teeth and snarls. These are wolves!

Oh, my God, they’re going to attack me.

Reaching into my pocket to get the hunting knife that Brooks gave me for my Walkabout I spot a third beast. As I pull the knife from my pocket and open it, it slips from my fingers. Reaching down to retrieve it I see in a flash one of the animals lunge for my face. Pain and shock. In the midst of the chaos I fixate on its breath, hot and putrid. The smell of death. Grabbing the knife I jab blindly upward until I feel it contact and pop through the soft belly skin. My attacker lets out a shriek and releases its hold on my cheek. It falls to the ground panting as its guts spill out into the dirt. It eyes me blandly, without malice.

I hope that the loss of a comrade will end their bloodthirsty quest, but it soon becomes clear that, while backing off for a moment, they are merely regrouping to pursue me once again. Why me? Why now? God, where are you?

I flail wildly with my short dagger trying to take another one out. The gray one that I first encountered lunges at me and I swing the knife ineffectually its direction. I am unaware of a smaller tan wolf behind me but as I flail at Gray it digs into my Achilles. The tendon tears with the sickening snap.

I’m on the ground now rolling this way and that, flailing wild;y, in a vain attempt to keep my attackers at bay. Now Tan has my knife hand and is shaking it with demonic fury. I can see them all closing in. Five, maybe six. I can’t fight anymore. I can’t move. My muscles refuse obey my frantic commands.

I just want to sleep and have this over. Blackie lunges at my face, his yellow teeth now stained with my blood.

That breath, oh God,  that breath…

The story you just read is true, except there were no wolves, I wasn’t at Hole in the Ground when it happened and, obviously, I did not die. But the emotions were real, the terror was real and, in the the vividness of my imagination, the scene was as close as it gets to real. Fear. Fear attacked me as I was driving to hole in the ground. No wolves, but the dementia produced by fear gave me a full set of emotions including but not limited to: rage, terror and panic.

As I talked about my upcoming trip, Kentucky Chris said, “You’d better bring a knife because of bears and big cats.” Somebody else said, “Did you know that wolves are back in Oregon now?” Someone else, “I just saw on OPB that grizzlies are showing up in the mountains.” I think that started it, or at least started it this time.

You see, I’m afraid of nearly everything.

One Comment

  1. Al Doyle wrote:

    Somehow that story is less terrifying when absorbed with bubble tea. Never the less, a powerful picture of mind over what matters.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 3:46 am | Permalink

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