In my post-baby zeal to get some semblance of a body back, I've been going out walking. Sometimes with just myself and the kids, and other times with friends. Tonight my friend Jennifer and I went out for an evening walk. My walks up until now have been in the daytime down a nice wooded path by a river. We decided to go on that path tonight, thinking that we'd have enough light at 8:30 at night.
I guess I forgot that it's still only April.
It got pretty dark by the time we were turning around to head home. I mentioned that we would have to be careful, as there might be skunks. So I was somewhat on edge as we were returning home. Then as I looked down the darkening path, I thought I could see a shape in front of us. At that moment, Jen also stops and says "Is there something there?". We both sort of stop and see some kind of a coyote or dog scampering away from us. Breathing a little sigh of relief, we take a couple of steps forward, only to now see 2 dark silhouettes of large dogs, charging full speed down the path towards us and barking. And not a nice barks; I'm talking vicious barks. So here is Jen and I, clinging onto each other in sheer terror, frozen to the spot.
Now, from that moment, I have learned three things about myself. First of all - I am not that smart. Really, I am not. Instead of searching for a stick to defend ourselves at that point, I was honestly edging towards the river to jump in as an attempt to get away from the dogs. Now I have seen 'No Country for Old Men', but I guess that river scene happened to escape my mind at the time to tell me that was not a rational plan. I was just thinking to myself "How much is this going to hurt?".
Secondly, if I die in some sort of sudden manner, the few last words out of my mouth will not be ones that I want my children to hear. I'll admit I said "holy s**t" as those dogs came charging towards us, then offered the most terrified and sincere prayer I have ever spoken in my life. I wonder if God has a forgiveness policy for those people who swear right before they are killed suddenly. You know, in car accidents or plane crashes? Those moments where you can see what the inevitable is? Because when you're standing in the dark watching the shadows of two large barking animals come barrelling towards you, I'm not sure if it's fair to be accountable for the terrified language that comes out of your mouth.
And thirdly, biology class should have included the third option of "freeze" to what your body will do when adrenalin is released. And under it, you can put a picture of Jennifer and myself, because apparently we are the only people in the world who will neither fight, nor flight.
Oh, and to wrap up the story, as the dogs got closer, they slowed down and Jen says "It's okay, they're golden retrievers". The dogs then come up to us wagging their tales and sniff our trembling, outstretched hands. The owners came up a bit later and apologized for the scare. They didn't think that anyone would be on the trail at that time of night. I guess they never accounted for brainiacs like myself, who initially suggested we take that path.
I'll keep my river walks to the daytime from now on, thanks.