I am here to tell the tale




I am here to tell the tale

Have you ever been stalked by a Cougar. When I mean stalked, I mean by an actual Mountain Lion from the Rocky Mountains of Canada. I have. When a Cougar stalks you, and you are in her sights, it will take a miracle for you to survive. Once the Cougar is upon you, she will roll you over and place her 6-inch nail across your belly and slice you open. No one lives to tell the tale of a Cougar stalking. This, however, did not happen to me…

My stepfamily had left to head down to the ski lodge. Their winter cabin was at the top of the mountain and after dinner, we had all agreed to go down to the lodge to have hot chocolate and listen to some local music.

The Mountain was known for its powder at the time but wasn’t considered a big enough ski hill to have chair lifts or let alone much lighting to lead the way down. I would gather to say the distance from the cabin to the steps of the lodge to be less than 400 metres. A nice enough distance to gently ski down but not a marathon to get to.

I have been called many things in my life; some make me smile others cringe, one of those names is being called Moses by my Mother. The reason is, she said, that ‘I was slower than the second coming of Christ’.
How is she to know, who’s to say, He could be fast. In this particular instance she was right and wrong. I was slow to eat my dinner, slow to put on my ski boots, slow to bundle up for the weather and by this time slow to head out with them. So, last one in the house, I locked up, placed my ski’s into position and was just clicking in my boots getting ready to head to the lodge, when I felt her.

The moon was out full and by all accounts a typical evening for a 13yr old to head down by herself after them, I am a skier and have been skiing since I was two. The snow was fantastic, slightly crisp as my skis glided into it; just a faint crunch sounded from them. The stars were bright, and the moon was so full, not a cloud in the sky, wait a minute…and with that moment I felt her.

I heard a crunch, or maybe I felt her crouch. Either way, she was so close to the powder snow her shadow blended into the moguls under the moonlight, I felt her…my presence was in her sights and everything in that moment just slowed right down and then sped right up.

I remember feeling rather than thinking, feeling that I wasn’t Moses, and I could move faster than the second coming of Christ as long as I didn’t hesitate…Commit I whispered.

I never looked back, to be honest; I don’t even know if she followed me. Those few hundred metres were distanced within seconds and then I was in the lodge gasping that I was being stalked.

This memory was triggered by my cousin’s recent disappearance. It reminded me of that feeling, of sheer terror and yet internal instinct to survive. I am hoping she has this. I am hoping somewhere out there she has her internal instinct to survive. I am praying she is not in terror, or in harms way…but like me just moving a little slower to find her way home.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for sharing the post about my cousin Natalie Perkins, who went missing on February 15 from Byron Bay. It is not a usual thing for her to be without contact with the family for any extended period. Please keep sharing.

She is still missing.