A couple of days ago, I was driving up 3100 South in Bountiful, listening to my radio, singing along to Lifehouse’s “All In” when I noticed a rather large yard ornament on a neighbor’s lawn. No troll, no pink flamingo, it was a freaking life-size deer.
That’s a mighty big deer to place in your yard as decor, I thought as I approached the house. It was in the form of a doe, bent over in the act of eating. As I stared closer, I noticed that the jaw was moving. And then it’s ears twitched. It’s animatronic! This thought flashed across my mind for just a split second (thanks Disney)–until I turned right in front of the house, spooked the supposed “lawn ornament” with my headlights, and it bounded DIRECTLY into my path.
I slammed on my brakes and half expected hooves to come flying through the windshield and trample me to death. (well, maybe again for just a split second)
Thankfully, the darn deer leaped high and far away and just left me with wide eyes and the pungent odor of burning rubber and scorched brakes. Why did it jump RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME??? I wondered as I drove away. Sheesh…deer are stupid.
The next day I decided to head up Millcreek Canyon for an after-work run. It was blasted hot–the heat from the road seared my legs while the sun pressed every inch of water in my body out every available pore. I was literally a dripping mess by the end of my 6 mile run. As I came to the end of my run, I paused at a shady, wooded corner and reached for my iPod when I saw something come out of the bushes about 40 feet straight ahead of me.
What in the heck…it’s a squirrel. I stood stock still, waiting to see where it was going to head next and trying not to frighten it. It took off running in a full bounding sprint–headed STRAIGHT FOR ME.
For the first 1.2 seconds of it running towards me, I had the thought, ‘Ohhhhh, how cute! It’s coming over to say hello!’ Yet again a reaction based on all my years of Disney watching where forest animals were cuddly and charming and would mingle with the common folk with nary a thought of disease. Once I snapped quickly out of that silly reverie, I realized that this squirrel was bee-lining it at an alarming rate that did not seem remotely cuddly or inviting.
What the…I took half a step back thinking my movement would somehow make it realize I was alive and not some tall, blonde tree it could jump on. Nope. Didn’t deter it! It came faster and faster and thoughts of rabies and sharp sticks and Monty Python went racing through my mind.
The squirrel stopped literally within a foot of my sneakers (a FOOT), stared up at me (I was waiting, just waiting for it to pounce—those nasty little incisors, it’s untrimmed claws…ewww), and then promptly took two leaps into the tree I was just getting ready to jump into myself.
I stood there for a moment or two, dumbfounded, wondering at the oddity of the situation. For the love…stupid squirrel.
And then there was today. Today being a day when I decided to head up Mueller Park Canyon for a nice run to Elephant Rock and back. It’s a beautiful trail that traverses dense forest where I have seen many a wild animal, like the occasional moose or labrador (speaking of which, it’s also a popular mountain biking trail and just about every MTB that came flying down that trail today had a dog. What kind of dog? ALL labradors! I think when you buy a mountain bike you get one free). I wasn’t too concerned about seeing anything this morning because there were several people on the trail either hiking or biking (or us toughies who actually run it…yeah, baby).
About halfway up, I ended up being completely alone for several minutes, covered in a canopy of green, taking an easy stride along the packed dirt path, listening and singing softly aloud to Timbaland’s “The Way I Are”.
“Baby, it’s alright, now you ain’t gotta flaunt for meeeee…If we go touch somethin’-somethin’ and my love it’s freeeeee… AAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!”
Bam! Right in the middle of this shaded grove where I’m feeling my running groove, getting lost in the music and atmosphere, a gigantic SOMETHING jumps right out of the side of the trail and lands just a few feet in front of me. It was another DOE! But considering it’s tawny hide and the fact that there are mountain lions up in them thar hills, my first reaction was not, ‘oh how pretty! a deer just leaped right in front of me (AGAIN) and made this bucolic scene even more special’. It was more like, ‘AAAAAAHHH!! It’s a mountain lion! Drop and roll, drop and roll…wait, that’s for bears. No, cover my neck, don’t look at it in it’s eyes, don’t climb a tree…’
Damn Bambi is out to get me! AND, get this: running back down the trail I had chipmunks and bushy tailed squirrels coming out of
the woodwork. Or bush work. In either case, these animals are strangely drawn to me right now. But I think I figured out what it is: I have Snow White Syndrome. All I need to do is sing and they just come a running, or leaping, into my outstretched arms. Although I wasn’t singing aloud when I was driving or running up Millcreek…and last I checked, I wasn’t crawling with dwarves.
Still, I am blessed with the love of rabid creatures right now. Lucky me. Just to be safe, I’m not going to be eating any apples right now. Unless it will bring me my Prince Charming. 😛