To Kill a Mountain Lion . . . With a Spatula

(image from

(image from

We moved from the Rio Grande Valley to Austin almost seven years ago. From the beginning, I was afraid of encountering a mountain lion. T always laughed, but I insisted it wasn’t unthinkable. On walks around Pedernales Falls State Park, I would insist that the kids stay close by. R was only seven. And the first time we went to Hamilton Pool, the sun was going down, and I made us turn back from the path going to the river, because it felt too much like mountain lion time to me.

But mountain lions have been spotted around the area lately. Well, at least between our subdivision and Pedernales Falls State Park. So hah! I wasn’t that crazy.

A few years ago, on a walk in Big Bend National Park, I carried a stick and a rock, and wished out loud that I had a loud whistle, a bowie knife, and a can of mace. I made the kids stay close. T laughed. But the next day the three of them went on a walk and on the way back someone told them to beware of mountain lions, and to try and get back to the campground before dusk. Hah! A few months later a mountain lion attacked someone in the parking lot of the only restaurant in Big Bend. Double Hah!

The point being: I have a healthy respect and yes, fear of mountain lions. Tarantulas can’t catch up with me, nor can scorpions or snakes. Bears will most likely turn around if you stand your ground and look tall. But you most likely wouldn’t know a mountain lion was in the area until your head was in its jaws.

So last night I dreamed that we were in an RV and there was a mountain lion lurking around outside.  Someone had warned us to be careful, because it was  fearless.

Sure enough, coming back from walking our dog, I spotted it in the trees above my head. I was still some twenty feet from the RV, but I managed to beat it to the door. I must not have been obese in my dream, which was convenient.

I looked at the animal through the glass window in the door. It got up on its hind legs and growled at me. I pressed my face against the glass and growled right back. But it didn’t even flinch. That’s how fearless it was.

A dream moment later, I was in a different RV, with the door locked, but for some reason there was a two-foot gap to the right of the door, above a table. So we spent quite some time strategically placing the toaster, spices, cups, a pitcher full of wooden spoons and other stuff on the table. The idea was that the mountain lion, in its attempt to get inside, would hesitate about where to jump onto the table, and in the few seconds of hesitation, while it already had its front paws on the edge of the table, I would hit it over the head with the spatula, thus saving my children from a bloody death.

Ah, the trials and tribulations of a Dutch woman whose outdoor experiences were mostly limited to the completely and utterly wildlife-free hills and mountains of Great Britain. I do miss those days!

9 responses to “To Kill a Mountain Lion . . . With a Spatula

    • Haha, sounds like the Loch Ness Monster to me! Where would they even hide? There is no growth higher than heather in the Scottish hills. Anyway, the most direct evidence we ever had of wildlife in the mountains of Great Britain–apart from once seeing a herd of deer so far away they were no more than spots–was the fact that in the morning we found a tiny hole chewed in a little plastic bag of raisins. A mouse must have taken a few. Oh yeah, and once a seagull at a great height over Mount Snowdon managed to poop right onto the lid of my butter tin.


  1. Mountain lions have been seen in your area?! Wow. I knew they still lived out west in Big Bend but had no idea there were any left in central Texas. I think they’re magnificent but seriously scary like you said. I wouldn’t want to have a close encounter, even in a dream. Even with a spatula. Heh heh.


  2. I love the strategy of momentarily confounding a mountain lion with an artfully positioned toaster before dispatching it with a spatula. I suspect Martha Stewart survived jail by similarly deploying her branded kitchenware to ward off unwanted advances. I salute you, and would certainly seek you out if walking in lion-infested terrain.


  3. This reminds me of the movie The Parent Trap . . . starring Hayley Mills. The stepmom-to-be is encouraged, on a camping trip, to frighten away mountain lions by smacking two branches together. 😀


  4. Pingback: Weekly Image Of Life: Nature’s Bliss | this man's journey

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