One of my successes in life was just admitting stuff and moving on. It’s sort of like emptying your bag of self secrets and walking a lot lighter. Well, I have to admit I thought my mind had left the corral and gone astray. So I went and talked with this nice looking professional lady. She asked me a whole bunch of questions and I think I answered them the way a sane fella would. I knew the difference between the Lion and the Camel. I drew an almost perfect clock with all the numbers in the right spot. I was even able to do a bit of fast subtraction. I left there with the assurance I did ok for a county boy my age. Those times I forgot what I was looking for seemed to be quite a normal thing. Even the lovely lady admitted she did that once in a while. So I considered myself darn close to normal. If I was ever normal compared to other folks. But that is another story.
As I have stated before, I live smack dab in the woods. Well not as many as there were, but still close to the woods. A lot of the other trees were harvested leaving areas a bit on the open side. But animals still come and visit quite often. Some of those animals make some very weird noises. Top amongst those would be the fisher cat and the porcupine. You may think the porcupine may be just a quiet animal swinging side to side ambling on through the woods. But I tell ya, this one fella wasn’t. He must have been having some sort of tantrum about finding his lady friend. Even when I got close to him, he just looked at me and hollered even louder. He wanted his lady and wanted her now. I realize in this day and age, one has to be careful about using the proper pronoun. I will admit, I did not make any attempt to positively determine this creature’s gender. But he sure was loud.
The other creature, the fisher cat, has one mean voice. Their call will send shivers up and down your spine. I was helping a friend who lived over to Quimby Pond, when I first heard one holler such as that. I just had to go and investigate. As a fella who likes to call himself a mountain man, it is necessary to recognize these animals by their holler.  There are times even a bird will get you to wondering what is that?
Now, early this morning, something appeared to be right outside my bedroom window making a noise. It doesn’t take much of a noise at two am in the morning to get one’s attention. I lay there intently listening and trying to figure what in heck it was. I know the racoon tried to make a home there one night. He tore some boards off the overhang and that woke me up. Ok when I say woke, I mean I was sleeping and now I am not. Just to be clear on things here folks. When I was talking to that young lady who was testing my brain, I apologized if I said things wrong. I was born in the 40’s and brought up country.  Talking to the pigs and goats, one did not have to worry about pronouns or things such as that.

Stephanie Dellavalle

Back to the story.  I listened for a bit and finally had to get out of bed and go investigate. It was such a bright moon last night, I didn’t even have to turn the lights on. As I stood by the window looking out, not a creature did I spy. But the noise came again.  I figured I would just sneak out and take a better look. Here is where age gives me an advantage. Moving slow and careful is almost a natural thing now. It would be most difficult to explain, I fell and broke a hip while trying to sneak out of my house. So very carefully I opened the door and stepped outside. In my bare feet, and scantily clad, I stepped right onto that metal grate. At this point, I must confess, it was most difficult to be quiet. That grate just happened to be only 15 degrees above zero. It almost instantly froze the bottom of my feet. I very quickly ran back to my bed and turned the electric blanket up close to high temperature. My whole body was cold. I thought ta heck with that noise, but then it came again. This time, I recognized the animal. I thought I should indeed talk to that lady again about my brain and brain fog.  It was just my stomach objecting to that small salad I had for supper. It wanted more.
I am sure there is a life lesson here somewhere, but acting such as I did, best ya all find another teacher to learn about being woke at 2 am.      Ken White COB mountainman

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