When we last left our heroine, the mayor of Crazie Town, she was enjoying the bucolic surroundings at a remote farm in eastern Kansas. [Click here to get caught up.]
I sat dozing in the sun, enjoying the peace and quiet when I was startled awake by the roar of a heavy-duty pickup truck pulling up beside me. My brother, Rick, jumped out and, without a word, fired up a weed-wacker.
A few minutes later, I heard the “putt-putt” of Dad’s ancient tractor and watched my nephew, Jordan, appear on the horizon behind the wheel. The rusted red monster limped it’s way toward us with one nearly-flat tire. Jordan made short work of carving out a grass free zone for us with the attached dilapidated mower, that banged an out-of-balance tune with every turn of the blade.
While they worked, Mary and I opened the box containing the privacy tent I purchased to cover the deluxe port-a-potty I’d purchased. I laid the items out on the ground and dug around in the “it can’t be empty” box looking for directions. Fortunately, Mary had put together her fair share of tents, so I handed her the foreign objects and she assembled them into a….well, not a tent exactly.
“Uh-oh,” Mary said. “There aren’t enough poles and two stakes are missing.”
“No problem,” I said, looking at the short, sagging, expensive privacy tent. “We’ll just pee in that stand of trees over there.”
Jordan and Rick disappeared as quickly as they’d arrived.
Eventually, I got around to opening the box with the grill I’d purchased and ripped open the package of hardwood charcoal I’d purchased for a premium price at the organic grocery store.
Somehow, I managed to cook up a delicious dinner of sautéed salmon with shallots and butter. I decided this camping thing wasn’t so bad after all.
Mary produced a bottle of champagne she’d purchased to celebrate my first camping trip. Neither one of us had ever opened a bottle of champagne but we’d seen it done on TV enough to know there would be a loud POP! followed by the flow of bubbly alcohol. She pointed the bottle toward the setting sun and wiggled the cork. We cringed, waiting for the explosion.
The cork fell to the ground between our feet.
“Uh-oh,” Mary said “Isn’t it supposed to have bubbles in it?”
“No problem,”I said and added ice to our glasses. We then christened the camper. Well, not exactly christened. I didn’t want to hit The Ugly Duckling with the bottle of champagne for fear she would collapse.
We relaxed into our camp chairs and watched as nature provided a perfect opera. A triplet of deer pranced by. They paused to gaze curiously at us, and then leapt gracefully off stage, toward the creek. A turkey wandered into camp and, surprised to see us, gobble cursed us as he hurried away, stage left. A meadowlark arrived on the table in front of us and sang the closing aria.
There we were, sitting there, minding our own business, wiping melted marshmallows from our chins, when I heard a loud “HUFF” coming from the tall grass behind us. It sent the hairs on the back of my neck to stiff attention.
“Uh-oh,” Mary said. “That sounded big.”
“N-n-n-no problem,” I said, quaking in my boots. “Th-th-there’s nothing out here that can hurt us.”
To bolster our courage, we broke out a quart of melted chocolate ice cream and gulped it down.
“Uh-oh,” Mary said, jumping into the fire ring next to the coals. “It’s still there.”
“Problem! Problem!” I shrieked. “Run for the camper!
The next day I looked up the sound on the internet.
It was a MOUNTAIN LION!
Click on the huff and then on “Cougar – Montana” to hear the sound. HUFF!
Then again, it could have been – according to the Parks and Wildlife Game Warden – The long call of a roe deer. HUFF?