It should have been a nice, quiet, relaxing walk — just a fun little afternoon stroll with the family, y’know? It certainly started out that way… Sure, the sky was a little overcast, and the road was a little muddy, but it wasn’t anything too crazy. At any rate, Lindsey and I certainly weren’t expecting to have any adventures. And I definitely didn’t expect to be needing my knife!
But alas, only 5 minutes into our walk, there I stood, gripping my knife with white knuckles, my breathing heavy, my heart hammering in my chest.
And less than 2 feet in front of me stood a raging 4-point buck!
He was glaring at me with fiery blood red eyes, snorting clouds of smoke with every ragged breath, and thrashing his antlers wildly from side to side, flinging streams of slobber all over the surrounding haystacks. Definitely a formidable foe.
Although, to tell you the honest-to-goodness truth, the situation wasn’t nearly as dangerous as I’m making it sound.
Y’see, those sharp, spear-like antlers — the ones he wanted so desperately to ram into me — were all tangled up in baling twine; baling twine that was still anchored to the massive 15 foot tall haystack. So in reality, that vicious, snarling, thrashing buck was, for all intents and purposes, leashed to the haystack, with only a couple feet of leeway.
And I, well, I was trying my darnedest to un-leash him…
Hence the knife.
But he DID have red eyes, I swear it! He’d been struggling against the hay bales for so long that all the dust and pulverized hay had irritated his eyes, turning them blood red. And believe you me, he still had plenty of fight left in him!
Fortunately, the rest of my family was still back on the road, a safe distance off. Of course, it was far from relaxing for them: Ryu was straining against his collar, trying to come to my aid; Lindsey was straining against Ryu, trying to keep him back; and our two little girls were straining against the stroller seatbelts, trying to get a better view of the action.
And all the while, I was dancing on my toes like a boxer, darting in and out, trying to cut the 6 or 8 strands of baling twine that were holding my fiery opponent at bay. Each time I came within range, he’d let out a snort and charge me with his antlers leveled right at my heart, going for the kill.
Now, I’d love to tell you that I was so fast and nimble that I avoided each and every one of his furious charges with ease, but that’d be a lie. I was actually darting in to cut the second-to-last strand of baling twine, when he caught me. I was just a touch too slow, and one of his daggers glanced off my knife hand. My hand itself was completely unscathed, but his antler ended up punching a ragged hole in my wool glove.
In the end though, we did get him unfettered, and he took off — running for the hills, with a rat’s nest of frayed baling twine dangling from his antlers.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I folded up my knife and clipped it back onto my pocket, and then turned and slowly started walking back to my family on the dirt road.
I tell ya, though, it certainly wasn’t the first time, and it probably won’t be the last, but I sure was glad I had my knife handy!