Dream of: 10 August 2001 (2) "Proliferation Of Wildlife"

With my brother Chris on the back of a four-wheeler which I was driving, I had headed up over the hill where the old tobacco barn sat behind the Gallia County Farmhouse, and then I had circled around the ridge of hills all the way to the tall hill which loomed behind the Farmhouse. As we proceeded, I was amazed by the number of animals which we were seeing, especially birds; the wildlife seemed to have proliferated enormously. I pointed out a huge black bird with a wingspan of at least two meters; the bird lost one of its feathers in some bushes, and for a moment I thought it had broken its wing, but then the bird gracefully took flight, revealing an underside of red, white and other mixed colors.

Behind another pile of brush I spotted a white owl; I was surprised because we were only about three meters from the owl – yet it didn't try to escape. I had never been that close to a wild owl before. Suddenly something happened to the owl and I thought it had been attacked by another bird. But then I saw that it was actually the owl which had caught another bird. I pointed out the spectacle to Chris.

We had reached a steep point in the trail. My four-wheeler was rather small - hardly bigger than a large tricycle. As I tried to maneuver down the steep path, Chris slid off the back into some white sand. After climbing off the four-wheeler and securing it, I began trying to help Chris out of the sand. His muscular dystrophy had taken its toll and he could hardly move. At one point, as we slid together down the steep path, his head became buried in the sand, but I carefully helped him out of the sand and together we were finally able to climb back on the four-wheeler and continue on.

As we arrived at a narrow, over-grown ravine, a skunk crawled out of a hole just about a meter from us. I tried to turn around; I wanted to steer clear of the skunk, but suddenly Chris jumped off the back and began racing toward the skunk; only Chris was no longer Chris: he was now a medium-sized black dog. As I hollered at him to come back, he chased the skunk through a barbed-wire fence and pounced on it. As the two fought, the skunk appeared to look more like a black and white cat. I felt sorry for the cat and I was certain the dog would kill it, but then I noticed that the dog appeared to be faring worse than the cat, as if the dog were being bested; and then I saw why: on the other side of the dog lay a black bear, biting the dog!

I had never seen a black bear on the Farm, but I had heard my father report that he had once spotted a bear there on the Farm. Now I could see that the Farm really had changed, if black bears were there; the bears just made the Farm that much more attractive to me. Of course at the moment, I needed to get away from there as quickly as I could. There was nothing I could do for the dog, and if I didn't escape, the bear might also attack me. Just as I was about to head for the Farmhouse, I heard my mother's voice, asking me if I were simply going to leave her out there. I didn't see her, but her voice sounded young, and I pictured her as being about 40 years old. Hearing her voice came as a complete surprise since I hadn't expected her to be out there. Of course I would give her a ride. But she didn't seem interested in getting on the four-wheeler; she just seemed to want to trail along behind me, not really showing herself, but talking to me as I headed back toward the Farmhouse.

A huge buck deer with probably 12 point antlers stopped just a few meters from me and stared at me – he was another example of the abundance of wildlife out there. I told my mother I was amazed at the proliferation of wildlife. I told her I had seen a bear and a mountain lion, animals which I had never seen on the Farm. The Farm was finally beginning to become the kind of place I had always envisioned it could be. I thought I might even have to reconcile with my father so I could spend more time up there.

I could see the barn at the bottom of the hill behind the Farmhouse now. My father was working with some other people inside the barn; I could hear their voices, as if they were singing. He seemed to be in a jolly mood. A trail had been worn in the dirt which led out one of the doors of the barn. I planned to drive inside through that door, but an old broken picture tube from a television was lying in the doorway, blocking my path. I began looking for someplace else to park the four-wheeler.

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