An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
I had just gotten home from taking some of the kids to see "Celtic Yuletide" (a concert featuring Michael Londra and Irish folk singing, dancing etc) when Susan told me about the VERY strange animal noise she heard while in the barn. Now keep in mind, it gets dark here around...oh...say...1pm. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but sunset today IS officially 4:18.
Anyway, I'll let Susan describe the beastly noise that had her in "fight or flee" mode - either here or her blog.
Later I was charged with the task of rescuing Mina who could not resist taking a shock getting over the invisible fence to chase something, but upon returning could not bring herself to cross back. Typical of her. She'll sit in the woods, outside the parameter and bark.
Unfortunately getting her takes a fair amount of coaxing because she knows what is going to happen when she is dragged over THE line. And so I tread out into the woods with slippers, a headlamp, and a bowl of food.
As I kneel down I begin to realize how eerie the forest can be in the dark. The lamp pierces a good 5 feet of the blackness, but no more. This forest behind my house is very likely the largest undeveloped woodland within 20 miles of Seattle...I've heard between 600-700 acres. As I knelt there I could see Mina's eyes glowing, but she continued to be hesitant to come, despite my calls and the food. Suddenly I hear a deep and heavy "whump...whump!" It came from further out into the woods - but not TOO FAR away - and it sounded to me like someone dropping very large rocks or logs onto soft earth. The only animal I could think of that could make such a noise would perhaps be a horse...a BIG horse with big hooves stomping the ground...perhaps. It rather freaked me out though and I suddenly found myself at once wanting to be out of the woods and wishing I had a sidearm with me.
Really, the only dangerous animal around here are bears. And I would have thought that by December they would be napping. So it really only left a few options: Bigfoot, Aliens, Skunk Ape, Yeti, or a ghost. Any of which could throw big rocks or logs at me if they felt inclined.
Mina heard it, but it didn't immediately cause her to freak out. I, on the other hand, called out again to her - with a bit of anxiousness in my voice. As if to say that I'd happily leave her dumb hind-end out in the woods for Sasquatch to eat. (They are omnivores, I assume?) Finally she relented (maybe the noise solidified her initiative to get back to the house too?) and we made quick work of the distance between the front door and the sight of the cryptozoological experience.
I still have no idea what it could have been. I heard nothing but the "Whumps" at all and I'd think any critter big enough to dislodge a rock (more like a boulder) or log would have made other noises as well. Unless...it was throwing them at me from a distance.