Dispatches from the Field

“This was a mistake.”

I didn’t want to listen to the little voice in my head; in fact, I was trying very hard to ignore it.  But it repeated itself insistently as I started at the impression of a huge paw in the mud at my feet: “This was a mistake.”

Squatting in front of me, my companion touched his fingers to the print almost reverently.  “Wow!  This is the biggest track I’ve seen yet.  This mountain lion must be huge!”

The voice again: “This was a mistake.”

Glancing up, my guide seemed to pick up on my anxiety (or abject terror, if I’m going to be honest).  “Don’t worry,” he said with an easy smile. “I’ve been here for five months and I’ve only seen a couple of them.”

A couple?  As in, multiple mountain lions?

“Um…” I smiled uneasily, trying to look unfazed.  “Do you ever worry…

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