When we last left, our narrator was growning anxious being out in the wildness, as the embers of his campfire died out...what dangers lay out there?
|Caveman with bone|
I reached and felt the religious medal that Ana Socorro had given me - St. John of God, patron saint of book peddlers and unfettered love. How comical -- and how touching. A.C. had said that the medal would guide me. And indeed, I began to feel my thoughts guided - to earlier in the day, Ana Socorro in her two-piece swim suit, her curves, her smile - not lascivious, just open and receptive. Responding to these images, I reached down and felt myself, wondering if I could squeeze one off without disturbing Ehmet. I decided no. But I felt a little better, lying there thinking of Ana Socorro, imagining that her thoughts were with me at this moment, as mine were with her. I wondered if cavemen on hunting trips had fallen asleep like this, their members in their hands, allaying fears of the night with thoughts of their mates back home - Venus figurines around their necks instead of St. John of God.
I was just beginning to fall asleep when I was startled by a loud noise near our campsite. I had never heard this sound in nature - but anyone who has watched TV commercials for the eponymous motor vehicle would recognize it - it was the roar of a cougar, or mountain lion as we called them. I heard another roar, this time in a different direction from the first one. I poked my head out of my sleeping bag and looked around. A nearly full moon was illuminating our surroundings with a dim silvery light.
Ehmet was already out of his bag, squatting on his haunches, scanning our perimeter. He tilted his head back and appeared to be sniffing the air. I sat up and started to get out of my bag, but Ehmet motioned to me to stay where I was - I didn't require much convincing. The big Indian bolted off in the direction of the bluffs behind us, and the last I could make out of his form, he was skirting the bluffs, heading uphill towards Thumb Rock. He moved like an animal, quick and graceful.
I felt chills up and down my back, and I began to shiver. Wiggling back down into my sleeping bag, I zipped the top flap over my head. I knew that the bag would provide me no protection - I was lying there like a burrito - but I had reverted to a child-like mentality, hiding under the covers from scary monsters. I tried to master my fears and think the situation through. What did I know about mountain lions?
To Be Continued....