Both of my parents moved to Indiana from Virginia in the early 1960’s, following the manufacturing jobs boom. When I was little, my family would take occasional trips to Virginia to see family. Even though the trip was LO-O-O-O-O-O-NG, I loved going down there, as the mountains were always so pretty.
One of my mom’s uncles, Arthur, lived at the base of a mountain. Whenever I would visit him, I would beg him to take me up it. Sometimes he would, but we never made it all the way to the summit, as this supposedly was an ALL-Day trek.
One time, we went up and shot a shotgun and a revolver at an old station wagon that somebody left up there for target practice. I was probably 8. Maybe 12. It’s hard to remember because of the moonshine.
I’ll never forget this one time we went up the mountain and we saw a snake. It was a Rattlesnake. It stretched clear across the road, probably 18 ft, and had venom dripping from its fangs and it kept striking at us and shaking its rattle and Arthur wanted to run, but I broke a limb off a tree and beat it to death with my bare hands until it died of death, and then we cut it open and all these baby snakes crawled out and were pissed that we killed their mom, or dad, (I’m not good with snake anatomies), and they started to circle us, and then I made a noise like a hawk and they fast-crawled away, because snakes hate hawks. Then we skinned their mom and made belts. And, we sold her tail rattle to a baby.
On the way back down the mountain, we saw a bear. I think it was a grizzly or Kodiak or something. It was eating some berries and then it saw us and decided we were tons better than berries, so it charged. Arthur ran again, but I just pulled off my red cape and went, “Torro, Torro!”. Then I ran too, because bears hate red unless it’s blood. The bear almost had me, because Arthur had a good head start, but then I turned on my cheetah speed, and ran like a puma. Bears are slow.
*Some of this might be an exaggeration*
**The first 2 paragraphs are definitely true**
***The moonshine thing is inaccurate. They never let me drink moonshine. Until I turned 13.***
****Okay, that was a lie. I never drank the shine.****
*****By rattlesnake, I meant blacksnake. By 18ft long, I meant 3 ft long. By Arthur wanting to run, I meant he used a stick to flip it into the weeds as I screamed like a schoolgirl*****
******The last paragraph is most likely totally false. But it was fun to write and definitely how I would handle things in a similar situation because I am a total bearwhisperer.******