An Arty Slick in the moonlight…

Arty Slick – Day 24

Every full moon, my kids put their shoes outside our front door in the hopes that the “Full Moon Fairy” will leave something special inside their shoe.  Sometimes it’s a toy… sometimes it’s a sweet… and occasionally its just random stuff hastily crammed in a sneaker because sometimes the full moon fairy is prepared.  Sometimes she is not.

Last week during the full moon I was lying in bed around midnight when I sat bolt upright in a state of panic – I hadn’t checked to see if the full moon fairy had visited.  So I jumped out of bed, gathered my supplies and tiptoed out to the front porch.  As I was checking my kid’s shoes, I heard what sounded like one of our dogs walking across our yard.  But wait, I thought, all of our dogs are inside sleeping.  I peered out over the moonlight and saw what I assumed was a deer ambling towards me.  That’s not unusual.  We see deer every day.  But as the creature approached, I realized it wasn’t a deer at all.  And it wasn’t the neighbor’s dog.  It wasn’t even a coyote and it couldn’t be a bobcat because it had an enormously long plush tail.

It was a mountain lion — a gigantically huge, beautiful, easily over a hundred pounds of muscle, mountain lion… and it was walking up our porch towards me.

Mountain_lion

Well, this situation has taken a turn for the worse, I thought.  I froze.  I knew that the mountain lion didn’t see me because it was just sniffing and casually walking around just like our cats do.  My first thought was, Should I startle it now when it’s six feet away from me rather than having it come all the way onto our porch and bump into me?  Then I wondered how mountain lions react to being startled.  I know grizzlies don’t react well to being startled.  If they accidently bump into a hiker on a trail they get so embarrassed they just maul the person to death.  Then I wondered what creature on Earth does like to be startled?  I certainly know I hate it.  Maybe dolphins likes to be startled – they seem to have fun no matter what they’re doing.  After concluding that in no way could I predict the outcome of a startled mountain lion, I then focused on plan B – remain completely frozen, barefoot and in my underwear, holding my children’s shoes and toys.

I was very good at plan B.  I don’t think I even breathed.

It was then that the mountain lion stopped on our porch about five feet away from me, looked out over our glowing, moonlit yard and leisurely walked away.  I waited until it disappeared, then ran inside and excitedly woke up my husband.

The next morning, we contacted a person from a Sonoma County Mountain Lion advocacy group and she said mountain lions are very shy animals and my experience was a one in a million lifetime chance.  I know that people are very afraid of them, but statistically speaking, mountain lions kill only one person in North America a year.  55 thousand people die in car accidents in America alone every year, so our chances with a mountain lion are certainly better than our chances on the freeway.

Arty_Slick_Tiger_Bamboo

Arty slicks wear their life experiences…

But even so, I couldn’t help wonder what would have happened if the mountain lion did see me, did not enjoy being started and decided to shred me to ribbons?  My kids would find me on the porch the next morning, in a bloody heap, still clutching their shoes and toys, with no mountain lion in sight.

And there’s only one conclusion they could make —

The Full Moon Fairy killed Mommy!

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