Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Two Golden Eyes

Way back when I was maybe 12 or 13 my brother and brother-in-law and I took off one night to track down what ever that was that was following us down the pasture fence at night. It would run along beside us in the dark. If we ran, it ran. If we walked, it walked. Once in a while we got a glimpse of two golden eyes in the moonlight.

There was one shotgun and two flashlights between us. Being country boys, we could always find a stick to use a a weapon against a snake or bobcat or that thing... We first crossed the pasture and edged into the tree line near the creek we had to cross. Walking that area in the dark was no problem. It was like our front yard we had spent so much time there.

Just beyond the creek there were two hills. A stream ran down the valley between them. We were out of the moonlight now, in unfamiliar territory, and so had to turn on our flashlights. We heard the cry of what we called a panther. It sounded like a woman in distress. It gave off a loud but weak sounding cry. We progressed up the valley using our flashlights sparingly, otherwise, we followed the creek always expected some snake or other creature to take a swipe at us. The cry continued and seemed to be closer now. It was on the hill to the right.

We were in total darkness now. The flashlights strained to show us a path then the batteries gave out. Every country boy knows to follow a stream downhill to get out of the hills, so we turned around. Just then another cry rang out from the hill to our left. We were now between two panthers or some other big cat. Getting out of that valley seemed more urgent now as we realized we were not stalking the creature but were being drawn into the valley and into a trap.

We got to the creek and walked down it. We were watchful but not overly afraid. Just then a shot rang out down stream where my brother-in-law (the big guy with the gun) was. We rushed to his side. He was excited. He had seen two golden eyes in a tree and took a shot at them.

A body was never found. We had our fill of stalking big cats. Still, once in a while, as we walked the darkened road, we would hear movements along the fence.

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