Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Donna Flood

Dusk was slipping quickly over the countryside and Enrique was trying to cover the area out of the little town of Tonkawa to his own home before dark.  The horse he rode was not bred for speed but, on the other hand, it wasn't exactly a plow horse either. He was comfortable with the animal being able to cover the distance easily. In order to save time he dropped away from the well traveled road and  began to follow the winding country lane,  which followed along the twisting and turning Salt Fork River. Most of the way was fairly open spaces with well cleared farm land on both sides of the dusty, sandy trail like passage. At some places the banks of the river dropped off into a deep dredged out cliff. In these areas his horse was nervous and wall eyed, but still Enrique was able to continue with not too much concern.

The last leg of his trip would cause him to have to necessarily pass through the  heavily timbered land that was the beginning of their property. There was little more than a path there. Already,  dark night was upon this land because of the heavy overhanging  of branches from the trees.

All at once his horse was tossing his head, pulling up and refusing to respond to the man's effort to urge him forward.

"Easy boy!"  Enrique spoke gently to the animal.  "Easy, Easy."  "Come on now."   "What is the matter, old boy?"  Enrique worked with the horse and was able to settle him down and they continued on through the woods.

"I know you are not liking these timber lands."  "I can't say I feel too easy about going through here either."  "It isn't too much farther now."  "Just a short distance and we are there."

As if to make matters worse the hooting of an old horned owl called out. As the bird make a soft whirring noise while he dropped out of a tree for a mouse or small animal this was certainly not the best thing to happen. Enrique uttered a sigh of relief as the horse was apparently willing to accept this little bit of a spook and was holding to the cleared path at his feet. Enrique could look forward and see a small break in the trees ahead and also a glimpse of light sky.

With this tunnel view he knew he only had a little way to travel. It was not at all the best part of the trail though, since to his left side there was a rise in the land creating a shallow wall.  This only increased the lowered visibility. Enrique was very uneasy.  His home had been Mexico where there were no such territories like this. Unfamiliarity  to the feel of the terrain gave him a deep apprehension equal to that of the horse he was working to control.  He knew his wife and children would be awaiting his return and it was such a short distance to the house. He felt if he could just manage the skittery animal for only a little while longer he would be past the worst part of his journey.

Again the horse began to act up, and this time there was no urging him forward.  Enrique was almost to the place where he was going to dismount and lead what he felt was just a very stubborn animal. Before he was able to get off the horse there was such a blood curdling scream coming from his left side at the top of the wall like rise he felt literally the hair raise on the back of his neck.  The scream sounded like the desperate shrill cry of a woman in mortal terror.

It was so shattering a cry the horse that had been all but stopping was now in panicked run away. Enrique turned to look toward the rise and he was able to see the black shape of a large cat easily loping along keeping up with the speeding horse.  The animal kept up pace with the horse seeming to be in a race with the animal.  The distance to the edge of the woods was just ahead and Enrique was desperately hoping the racing horse would arrive there before the cat had an opportunity to lunge down upon them.

Now, as he related the story to his wife he was incredulous as to the cry the animal had made.  "I don't know what it was."

"You just out ran a big cat."  "A black panther." "A Mountain Lion." "They follow the river on the way to the mountains."  "We don't see them often, but once in a while, they do come through."  His wife explained to her very shaken husband.

"I know one thing for sure."  "I have never heard a cry like that before."  "I don't care if I never hear it again."  Enrique had made up his mind the short cut from town through the dark, thick, timbered land was not going to be his choice for a short cut ever again.

"You know Lizzie,"  Enrique spoke to his wife after they were in bed, since he was still thinking of his experience.  "You know Lizzie,  that was a devil cat."  "I'm sure of it."

"Go to sleep now."  "It was just  a Mountain Lion going through, that is all."   Lizzie turned over to sleep an unworried rest, and was true to her Native heritage,  unconcerned.

Return to Donna Flood's Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus