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!