When I was kid, we had a mare named Fancy. I don’t recall a lot about her, really not a whole lot more than her demise. She had taken sick and was laid up by our barn in Higbee, Colorado. Dad had asked my brother, Cully, and I to feed before it got dark. Cully and I were a couple of irresponsible yahoos, so true to form…we did not do what we were told. Needless to say, when Dad got home; he sent us down after dark to take care of the chores. Chores like making sure this sick mare had a bucket of water close to her, milking the cow and feeding everything else. Things that would have been a whole lot easier in the daylight.
In the Nine Mile Canyon, it didn’t just get dark. It got daaaarrrrk, I’m talking not being able to see your hand in front of your face dark. Darker than the inside of a cow, dark! So when we got down to the barn, the dog started growling and made a couple of young boys, already nervous, just a little more nervous. We tried to suck it up and go on down to the barn. But the closer we got to the barn, the louder and stiffer legged the dog got. Finally we could stand it no more, we made tracks back up to the house, running like the very hounds of hell were chasing us!
Of course, when we get to the house Dad just wasn’t that sympathetic. He thought we were a couple of little boys who did not get their chores and didn’t want to go to the barn in the dark! But, I think it got his attention when all the dogs had their back hairs up! He thought there might something to all of the blubbering and stuttering about “something” being down there at the barn!
Looking back, this was right out of a horror flick for Cully and I. If we had been watching it on TV, we would have been yelling “NOOOO, don’t go to the barn. The sidekick gets killed!” Of course, each of us thought the other was the sidekick, so maybe “it” would have gotten both of us!
As Dad headed down to the barn, he had a boy on each hip and a dog walking between his legs. You wouldn’t think as fast as we left that we would have wanted to go back down there, but something about having some backup made us a whole lot braver! As we got closer to the barn, the dog and boys got tighter together and tighter to Dad. I don’t know how he was walking! The boys were cowering and the dog was growling!
When we got down there, Dad turned on the barn lights and all of the sudden the boogerman was gone. But, now there was something else. The sick mare was dead and had been torn up. Something had killed her and chewed on her a little. At first Dad thought it was coyotes, but since it was dark he couldn’t be sure.
Next morning, Dad went down to see what had killed the mare. The only tracks he found were mountain lion tracks. We don’t know if all the racket two boys and one dog were making scared it off or it was already gone when we headed down there. Either way it sure could have turned out differently. All the old timers in the area told Dad that there had not been any in the area for 10-15 years. We never saw this one and we never heard of anyone else seeing it either. But I think that is the norm with Mountain Lions.
There were two lessons my brother and I could have learned here.
One - It’s not as scary to go to the barn in the daylight, so it makes sense to do your chores when you are supposed to do them. We were obviously not very bright, because we did not learn that one very well!
Two – Everyone, dogs included, gets a whole lot braver when you have some back up. I think we learned that one pretty well.
God gave us some back up when He gave up His Son for us. It doesn’t matter if you are two blubberin’, stutterin’ little boys or grown men in war. God’s got our back!
God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him won't perish but will have eternal life. John 3:16