The City Slicker in the Country

You live in a world of concrete and tall walls,
An urban jungle of cars, trains, and buses,
Of dark alleys and endless noise all around.
When summer comes you seek the peace and freedoms of the country,
The green grasses of the fields,
The shade of the tall evergreen trees,
The fresh air with the fragrance of the wildflowers blooming on the hills.
In your clean freshly purchased hiking boots you walk through the open meadows,
Searching for the perfect vantage point for your latest Instagram post,
You see the small chipmunks busily rushing from tree to tree,
The birds fly here and there as they collect the twigs for their nests.
In the distance, you see a small whitetail deer and her young fawn walking through the tall grass,
Such a beautiful world this is to see.
As you walk down the trail that so many have taken before,
The path that was cleared for you and your friends to enjoy,
You see the tracks of the native wildlife that have used the trail during the night,
Hoofs prints and footprints of animals you have never seen,
Some are pressed deep into the ground and for others, hardly an image can be seen,
You wonder what cute and beautiful animals could have walked here before you.
With your smartphone, your search for a way to identify them all,
But the remote footpath you have chosen has no coverage,
Not a signal can be found,
No LTE, no 3G, or 1x bars found,
A simple picture will do for now.
Continuing your walk, you start to wonder,
Should I have listened to the ranger back at the visitor center more?
What dangers are out here?
Would they put the trail where dangerous animals roam?
You look more intently at the footprints on the ground,
Some look like two half-moons,
Others have small little heart shapes like your beloved puppy back home leaves when his paws are wet,
Some appear to have sharp toes,
Like little draggers at the edges of the paws.
Focusing so intently on the prints on the ground,
You lose track of the time you have been out here,
Sun slowly lower and the spaces between the trees seem to be narrowing,
Speeding up your pace to beat the coming night,
Sounds all around you that you have never heard before,
Rustling leaves behind you,
The hooting of an owl above,
Yellow eyes suddenly start to appear in the darkness of the trees.
Now you are rushing to finish the trail as though you are about to miss the morning train to work,
Almost at a running pace to the only civilized place in the area,
the parking lot where you started.
Making it back to your car and the safety of the parking lot you hear a ranger rushing by,
Rushing to the very trail you just finished walking on,
Looking around and asking questions from those around you,
You learn to your horror that a mountain lion had been larking the trail behind you,
Those very faint prints you had seen were the very ones these mighty animals had left on the trail.

Author: littleslices

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