A Dawn Dilemma from A to Z

dawn, New EnglandA few minutes after dawn, I notice some movement outside my window.

Because it’s summer, with flowers blooming wildly and birds singing as if there’s no tomorrow, I assume some kind of wildlife has entered my yard.

Cracking open the back door, I peek out. Despite my admiration for foxes and wild turkeys, I don’t necessary want to tiptoe out into the yard and run into any family squabbles.


Every night this week, though, I’ve heard a rather peculiar noise, and I wonder if the flash of brown and red I see belongs to that eerie sound.

Following the path from my garden to the woods that borders our yard, I laugh at my misgivings. garden, New England

Gangs of doves scurry in front of me, and I squeal like a little girl. Have I that little backbone in me?

I certainly didn’t use to be that way. Just five years earlier I hiked a part of the Appalachian trail, by myself, for three days.

Keeping on the well-tread wooded path, I shake my head at my new lack of courage. Last year I declined an invitation by a good friend to drive cross-country with her in six days. Maybe I’d been worried about losing a week of work, but in my heart, I knew I had just been worried, period. Nasty truck drivers, blown tires, dirty restrooms, boring miles along the Kansas highways – those are the things I allowed to stop me from saying yes.

woods, forest, pathOh my God,” I yell outloud, stopping my reverie. “Perhaps you should put some clothes on,” I add nervously, damning myself for not bringing my cell phone with me.

Queerly, the tall creature stands up like the human I thought it was at first, but then the thing shows off six legs, or arms, a silky coat of brown (fur?), and a crown of red feathers.

Red rover, red rover, red random red do,” the creature states in a singsong voice.

Say what?” I screech inanely.

Telling myself to start walking backwards, slowly, slowly, away from this…this thing, I move one foot behind the other. Until I trip on a stick and stub my toe, which makes me hop in pain even while continuing my reverse passage.

Veering left, the creature leaps directly into my backward path.

When I stop, it stops.

X” marks the spot!” I scream loudly, with conviction, hoping that maybe the proclamation will scare the creature away, or at least confuse it.

Young and restless, that’s what I’d been when I hiked alone and skied black diamonds.

Zen-like, I close my eyes and wish for that younger self to get me out of this ridiculous predicament.

63 thoughts on “A Dawn Dilemma from A to Z

  1. I liked this dream like experiential “ABC’s” and always enjoy foxes and birds. So there are my F and B letters. Much better than their low class uses of swear words. 🙂 I am a little sleep deprived so excuse my wacky train of thought.
    I am heading towards work. Enjoy your weekend, every way you imagine it! 🙂


  2. I’m actually happy that I didn’t completely pay attention to the title until after I read the complete post – it added a sense of drama that would not have otherwise been present 🙂 This is a brilliant exercise in creativity and imagination, well done. Oh, and I have been admittedly startled by the throngs of mourning doves that congregate in the best little hiding places in our own backyard 🙂


    • Morning doves are so sweet with their sedative-like crooning. About a week ago, a large white dove stopped by our feeder, and has been coming by daily since. I’m taking this as a symbolically GOOD sign. No six-legged creature dare creep up too close. :-0


  3. Well done, Pam. I didn’t catch what you were doing until the letter D (I’m a little slow in the morning). There’s not much wildlife where I live besides the birds and rabbits but we see deer, fox and turkeys at my boyfriend’s house. Lately, there’s been 2 adults and about 10 chicks cutting through his yard to park themselves under his neighbor’s bird feeder. The deer always cut right through his gardens. Does their path fall under eminent domain? 🙂


    • Good question about eminent domain; I do know that the birds and critters in our yard and surrounding woods believe it is THEIR property, and I think they are correct. However, I hold my breath every time the momma turkey walks her chicks across the hilly road. So far, everyone stops patiently for all six to waddle across.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great creative post Pam. You’d think we’d get more fearless as we get older and I think we do in some things, but not all…and who knows what strange critters are out there that haven’t yet been discovered until they walk into your yard 🙂


  5. This was very clever! Had me going… Cool story!~
    We had an entire covey of quail play in our yard one day. There were about 30 of them flitting around and I grabbed my camera and attempted to take pics. A lot were blurry because they were moving but I got a few. I also got some video of them. Hubby laughed at me “herding Quail” 😀
    We have deer, foxes, and road runners (raccoon, possum, and armadillo..I don’t count) in our subdivision. It is so cool We have 2 sets of fawn twins around here and I have been able to catch a few photos. They are pretty tame and humans can get close enough to take pics. We had a few wild turkeys a couple of years ago, but they were hazardous to/from cars. Not smart enough to avoid danger so they were recaptured and released somewhere safer. 🙂


    • “Herding quail” – now that’s a challenge! I’ve been told that wild turkeys are dumb, but I don’t agree. They look at me with knowing eyes, and I acknowledge their presence, and give them their space, believe me.


    • I think I’d lose my voice, screaming, if I ran into a bear in this wooded path. On the other hand, I love listening to the wildlife in this area – including the sounds of the ‘wild’ grandkids, when they visit. ha ha.


  6. With all the bear sightings around here this year I’ve lost some of my courage, too. Yesterday a coyote ran across the road in front of our car – we wondered at his daytime appearance and thunderbolt speed – was something chasing him? Enjoyed reading about your dawn dilemma – six legs made me think along the lines of giant insect…

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a coincidence, indeed! Actually, this is a really fun creative writing exercise – even for the beginning of a chapter, say, because it gives the writer some structure and helps the story go places she never would guess, without the abc help. 🙂


  7. Clever post! We get a lot of the same wildlife you talk about, the turkeys, doves, fox, deer, ‘possums, et al. I love this time of year because you really don’t know what you’re in for. My husband saw a black bear standing in the middle of the road last summer, like it was the most natural place in the world for it to be. I love seeing it all, but not everyone is as crazy as I am. 🙂


    • The funny thing is that the middle of the road probably WAS the most natural place in the world for that bear, since decades ago beforethe road was paved his ancestors roamed the area like they owned it. Once, they did. That’s how I view the wildlife I see in my neck of the NE area here. I say, ‘thanks for letting me share.’ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a creative post! Maybe it’s experience that makes us more cautious as we get older—or a realization that we don’t have as much time ahead of us as we used to and maybe we shouldn’t risk shortening it….


    • Whoa, that’s a whole new way of looking at our increased caution. I sure DO want to spend a lot more time here writing books and stories; thus, I’ll continue to avoid the 6-legged creatures in the back yard. 🙂


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