Karnataka 2002 “Aren’t you afraid living out on your own?”

“Aren’t you afraid living out on your own?”Image

I was asked this question every time I came in contact with humans.  Folks live in fear, I know this.  Fear was never an emotion I felt on my cliff.  I was suspicious of other humans but that was about it.

Have you noticed when you are in the dark woods at night and you turn off the flashlight you can’t see.  Your eyes are not used to the dark.

The whole time living on my cliff I never had a flashlight.  My hearing, sight and sense of smell became extremely proficient.  I could see clearly under a new moon.  Karnataka has poisonous snakes, scorpions and really nasty ants.  The same people who would ask me about my fear would always bring up the snakes.  The snakes live their own life.  I don’t bother them.  If they were in the path I was taking they would definitely let me know by coiling.  I could see the shape of a coil much better then a stick like shape.  Maybe it was instinct.

A friend wanted to try this walking without a torch idea.  They did well until I stopped them when I saw something, a shape.  In the dark most all shapes are nothing.  Something deep within you  knows when the shape is a possible threat.  I wanted my friend to make a wide berth around the shape without using the torch.  Their fear got the better of them.  With the light on a very large (as big as my hand) black scorpion raised it’s tail in striking position.  I laughed at my friend because it was obvious to that the scorpion was going about it’s life and the light triggered it into defense.  It was an awesome sight I do admit.

Snakes, scorpions and even humans didn’t bother me.  What would send me into a slight panic were the ‘ants of doom’:  a term I came up with.  These ants would travel at any hour in a highway.  If you got near their road they would attack.  Imagine being stung by ten to fifteen yellow jackets.  The sting would burn like fire for days.  It sucked.  I got so good at detecting the highways at night.  I would dead run and jump as high as I could over them.  Then after the jump the ‘ant of doom’ dance would happen.  The dance was a way to make sure there were no clingers that would hope to get lucky.  The locals loved sharing my dance.  With out the border of language all knew what charade I was playing when I would show them.  I learned this dance from the pack of wild dogs who lived in the area.  You could see them jump high into the air frantically.  Usually yelping.

All the dark night walks were done barefoot.  I wasn’t afraid just a bit panicky when I would do my dance over the ‘ant of doom’ highway.