I was sad to learn several weeks ago that my favorite tree in my running park had fallen down. Not all of it, but a goodish half had rotted through and then finally tumbled during one of our wild and crazy start-of-summer storms. I was a bit heartsick – that tree always cheered me up when I was running. It was something to focus on, something to offer shade, something solid to hate when it refused to get a lil closer.
That, and it scared the crap out of me.
It used to look exactly like the tree from The Jungle Book, you know, with the vultures sitting and waiting for Sher Khan to kill Mowgli…or were they offering Mowgli tips on how to kill the tiger? Hmm… in any case, all it took was one afternoon when it was cloudy and overcast and a whole mess of vultures were sitting in my tree for me to dart my eyes towards the tall grass, waiting to see if Sher Khan was going to come chase me. I was convinced that he would do it, could do it. He was there, waiting.
No more. Now that my tree is broken, so is the spell. I feel a bit safer from my man-eating (cartoon) tiger. A bit.
Except apparently we’re not out of the woods yet. Sher Khan might have cleared out to look for other fields identical to his movie scenes, but Kaa, the evil snake who often tried to hypnotize Mowgli and eat him, well he’s still around.
You need to believe he’s brown, two feet instead of eight or ten, and…well…a copperhead instead of whatever large, green jungle snake Kaa was, but STILL! Not a fun friend to have lurking in the grass! Corrie found him while she was out walking her dog and once I figured out what kind of snake he was, I told her BAD IDEA LUCILLE, stop looking! Turn and run!
And if Kaa and Sher Khan weren’t enough, now we have fairytales mixing realms, because good god if I didn’t see Aragog’s children running amok while I was out for a run Sunday morning.
He was almost the size of my hand, and much bigger than the two I killed in my house when Rhi was here. Apparently I am much more afraid of them out in the while – possibly because I’m the one who has broken the treaty and ventured into their domain? Or possibly because it was the size of a small car. Either way. I turned the corner, it was there, and I slammed on the brakes and screamed something that rhymed with “truck!” in a high, girly, scaredy-cat scream. It was unfortunate. Then I had to back up, get a running start, and long-jump over that sucker because they have excellent vision and scuttle lightning fast! I didn’t want him scampering up my leg or anything.
And so this is why I am going to need to bring some sort of gun with me when I go running from now on. Crazy people I can handle. Silly cartoon predators that may or may not actually exist I can (mostly) handle. But actual, real, live predators who are lurking, waiting to eat me from the ankles up?
NO, THANK YOU.