Sunday, October 13, 2013

Monsters in the Road

I was coming down the mountain rode in the horse cart, Merlin was at a pleasant walk. I was lost in the rhythm of it. I am well aware that when Merlin is moving slowly it is at the pace of a human's brisk walk. But I'm not walking. It's not about speed. It's about being carried. A good cart horse at a walk is like swaying in a hammock, a hypnotic jaunt. I was enjoying the quiet thrill when I saw something wild up ahead. Because of the bowl shapes in the mountain I was head downhill but a swift uphill road was facing us, a neighbors driveway. I saw what I thought at first was a large gray fox or a dark coyote, until I noticed the long tail. My body tensed and my gelding felt it through the long lines just like children hear whispers between tin cans tied with string. He lifted his head and stopped dead, ears alert and forward. Now the pair of us were staring ahead at the monster not 50 yards ahead of us on the opposite hill. I thought of my neighbors a few miles south with game cameras in the woods who spotted a catamount last fall. I thought of all the weird Northeastern beasties so few people deal with: fisher cats, weasels, Yotes, foxes and coy dogs. As my mind was going through my flip file of predators Merlin dropped his head and walked on. I didn't understand why he lost his edge until I realized the monster was heading for us.

It was Yeti. My Cat.

Maine Coons are big. And I write that with a smile on my face. So don't forget that while you're laughing.