We pulled into the driveway close to 9pm this evening. I had taken the kids to their Wednesday night program at church and we were all ready to go inside and head for bed. Since the temperature has dropped dramatically in the past 24 hours, I decided to run to the front door and unlock it before getting the kids out. That way they could make a beeline for the warm house.
I turned off the car and stepped out and that’s when I first heard it. There was a rustling in the woods in front of me. I paused as I listened to it and whatever it was, it sounded large.
Have I ever mentioned that I have an overactive imagination? Did you know it has a field day when my surroundings are dark and quiet?
So, I hear this noise and I immediately think bear. This is ridiculous because we do not live in bear country. We don’t live anywhere near bears. In fact, in all my life I have never actually seen a bear outside of a zoo. But my fear of bears is so great that naturally any loud noise in the dark woods must be a bear. Note to self- It’s NEVER a bear!
It took about .5 seconds for me to shake that hypothesis, so naturally the next logical conclusion was axe wielding murderous madman. Not that we have a lot of those in our area, but it’s actually probably more likely than the bear scenario if I’m honest. The rational side of me (yes, I do actually have one) shrugged off murder man, but the thought of him lurking in the woods kept fluttering through my mind as I hurried to the front door and unlocked it. When I got back to the car, it was quiet.
Great! Murder man has gone radio silent. Crap, he could be anywhere. Wait?! Was that him? Man, whatever it is it sounds large. But then I got to thinking that sounds in the woods are often amplified, and what I might be dealing with is a squirrel out for a late night snack. Now this scenario is even more believable than the bear or murder man, and much safer too.
Yes, it must be a squirrel.
But now I have to know. So I jumped in the car as quickly as I could and turned on the lights, flipping them to the high beams to catch our squirrel in the act.
As my eyes adjusted to the quick flood of light I saw it… not a bear… not a murder man… not even a squirrel.
A large dear meandering through the woods munching on leaves and grass.
Of all the scenarios, this one made the most sense. We live in the heart of deer country. Deer everywhere. It should have been my first guess, but clearly my overactive imagination couldn’t bother to settle on the most obvious answer.
I quickly got the kids’ attention and we watched the deer for a few moments wandering around the woods, not twenty feet from the car, eating his dinner and paying us no attention. When he was finally gone we got out of the car and into the warm house.
So tonight was a good night- a night where we didn’t get eaten by bears or chased by a deranged murder man. It was just us sitting in a car staring at a deer chewing some leaves. You’ve got to love a story with a happy ending. 🙂