Defenders of Wildlife

long ago encounters

There are two stories I want to impart to you about my days as a girl scout in northwest Washington State.

My first encounter with native wildlife was when I was a girl scount many years ago. My father took a bunch of giggling girls (pre-teens) out for our merit badges in camping and that first night out we were gathered around the campfire telling ghost stories when we heard off in the distance this incredible scream. Well, we all tumbled into the old station wagon my father drove and shaking with fear and excitement realized it was a mountain lion in the far distance.
My second encounter was the next summer when all of us girls (still giggly) went to visit a campground in the forested area we had been in the year before. As we approached the area of our camp, we realized that it had been victimized by a horrendous forest fire not long ago and there were still smoldering remnants of trees and charcoaled bunnies. That was very traumatic and sobering to a bunch of girls who the year before had been visited by the resident mountain lion. I know these stories are not much in the scheme of things, but they impressed me with the fragility of life and how if we aren't careful, no one will ever be able to hear the scream of a mountain lion ever again.


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