What the heck is going on with Mother Nature these days? Within the last six months, I’ve been inundated with tales of horror that used to only be the stuff of “Animals Gone Wild” on Animal Planet. Regular readers of this site may recall the post, Close Encounters Of The Rabid Kind, (published 10/23/2011) in which my son, Mike, related his terrifying experience with a rabid bat along the Gold Coast of Chicago. In that blog, I shared Mike’s history of scary animal moments dating back many years to his first up-close and personal hissing by a goose, when, one day, I thought it would be nice to bring my young children for a walk along the Fox River and feed the ducks. And it was, until the geese began to follow us, demanding the bread we’d brought for the friendly ducks. Warning my children to ignore the geese and walk away from them, one boldly walked right up to Mike, stretched his long neck until he was very nearly at face level and hauled off with the scariest hiss I’d ever heard. Poor Mike – you regulars know that that has become Mike’s name because of my penchant for signing him up for every possible sport, camp, music lesson, and scouting (for which my husband and I will never be forgiven) and wouldn’t let him quit anything because, ‘You don’t want to be a quitter’, which was all Mike desperately wanted. But I digress… Anyway, Poor Mike was indeed scarred from that experience. Continue reading
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My son recently had a frightening experience as he and his fiance were enjoying a leisurely walk along the lakefront on one of the beautiful fall days we’ve been having lately in Chicago. They noticed something on the ground and Laura wondered aloud what it was. Mike said it looked, at first, like a piece of garbage, but as they got closer, it appeared to be a dead bird. Just as they were passing it, the thing opened its mouth, exposing fangs, and hissed loudly for several seconds and then spread its wide wings. It was a bat. In order to understand Mike’s terror at that moment, I need to take you back many years to a warm summer day when I thought it would be fun to take my four young children for a walk along the Fox River.