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6/6/06 – I was ready to scoff at the superstitious people who attach significance to this date being “the mark of the beast.” But, while on my daily run down the Sawbill trail, I had three separate “beast” encounters.
The first was a not very threatening spotted fawn complete with wobbly legs and Bambi eyes. I had to stop and feed the mosquitoes for a minute while the fawn dithered around, until a subtle signal from its mother sent it trotting into the woods.
The second was a brown fury that erupted from the underbrush and viciously attacked me, beating me around the head and attempting to claw my eyes. A ruffed grouse hen defending her nest is an amazingly intimidating attack machine. No injuries were sustained, although her strategy seemed to be mostly aimed at giving me a heart attack.
The third was a streaking woodchuck that came sprinting out of the woods straight for me. I was still jumpy from the recent grouse attack, but it turned out that the wood chuck just had bad timing. As soon a he saw me, he applied the emergency brakes and headed back the way came at high speed. – Bill