Fear not parents; the myth is dispelled at the end so they will go to sleep.
The Bigfoot LEGENDS are told all over the world in remote areas. In North America we mostly call them Bigfoot or Sasquatch as they are known to some ancient native peoples. In snowy mountain ranges as far away as Tibet, they are called Yeti or The Abominable Snowmen.
These creatures are always at eight to ten feet tall, super strong, known for throwing rocks and are capable of driving humans out of their territory- even humans with guns, it is said. Apparently they have a bad pungent odour and make high pitched screams that will make your blood run COLD.
There must be some truth to these stories or else why would grownups keep talking about them for hundreds of years?
Living in Central and Northern Ontario Canada, means that you live among the local wildlife. You get used to birds waking at dawn; the fish feeding on the glassy lake that leave little dorsal fin waves as well as those that create a little surface splash leaving ever expanding ring-waves that mark their location.
The crack of dawn is most likely your last chance to see larger animals as they go into hiding deep in the woods as man gets busy with his day. Around here deer, foxes, rabbits and even moose are commonly seen at that time of the morning.
During the day and not in tourist season, the lake is a playground for aquatic mammals like otters, mink and weasels, foul like ducks, geese and loons and reptiles like frogs and snakes.
But at night, BIG DANGEROUS THINGS are on the prowl. Lions and tigers and bears- well lynx and bobcats and bears at least, with the unproven claims of cougars. Wolves and coyotes should not be forgotten either; nor should potential attackers from above like bats and owls that feed mostly at night. NIGHT-TIME IS WHEN HUMANS SHOULD BE INSIDE. WANDERING OFF ALONE AT NIGHT IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA.
On weekends from May to October the number of humans in the area can swell by a multiplication factor of ten. Where there are many humans, there is little wildlife, so you are safer but never totally safe. YOU MUST BE CAUTIOUS- BEING AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS especially when you are camping out in the wilderness and NIGHT COMES.
But if you go deep into the wilderness or are here after tourist season, you can have unexplained encounters with wildlife or something FAR WORSE, and they usually happen when you are ALONE.
Last night I had my third Bigfoot encounter and this was a close one; just fifty feet or fifteen metres away.
It was 9:30 at night and THE AIR WAS DEADLY STILL- meaning that there was no wind to stop me from hearing everything. I live up here year-round so I am used to most of the sounds of the wilderness. There was a clear sky with a half-moon that cast DARK SHADOWS EVERYWHERE.
SUDDENLY in the blackness, I heard a loud KER-PLOOSH and a splash like the sound of giant boulders being thrown into the lake in front of me. I WAS FROZEN WITH FEAR. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up because THIS HAD HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE.
My first thought was that it could be a bear going after a fish. But only seconds later it happened again. The sound of these huge boulders hitting the water told me that no human or bear could lift them and be throwing them into the lake so fast and so far. This was obviously A HUGE INTELLIGENT CREATURE that did not want me around.
It was time to HIDE INSIDE until whatever it was went away or CAME TO GET ME.
I was lucky that it decided to go away..
I survived the night to tell this tale.
As mentioned, this was not the first time I had encroached on the territory of a BIGFOOT.
A few years ago, I went fishing in the evening on a little secluded lake that does not have any cottages on it. The fishing was good so I did not want to leave, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS GETTING DARK. I built a big campfire at the edge of the lake so I could see better and the fire is SUPPOSED TO keep wild-life from coming too close.
I was concerned about bears being attracted to the fish I had caught and eaten. I did not have a tooth-brush with me and I had heard stories of people being attacked by bears because THEY HAD NOT BRUSHED THEIR TEETH- it is said that a bear could smell their breath.
It was a moonless night so I could not even see my car that was parked just a short way up the road.
Everything became very quiet as though something had scared the birds and frogs into hiding. It was TOO QUIET; EERILY QUIET.
In the BLACKNESS just in front of where my fishing line disappeared in the DARK BLACK NIGHT, I heard something HUGE hit the water with a loud KER-PLOOSH! Although it did not splash me, it sounded very close. I was the only human for miles around and it seemed like something was throwing giant boulders almost all the way across the lake, and THIS THING WAS NOT AFRAID OF THE BIG FIRE I HAD GOING.
I told myself to calm down because a really big fish could have charged out of the water to try and catch a low flying bat or dragonfly and could have made a sound like that when it landed back in the water.
But then it happened again. Now I was SCARED. I did not want to fish anymore. I reeled in as fast as I could, picked up my fish and ran for the car. The boulders were landing every few seconds now SO THERE HAD TO BE MORE THAN ONE CREATURE throwing them. Whatever it was, it could have my container of bait that I left behind on the beach.
At the car, I quickly threw all my stuff, including the fish, inside the car- there was no time to put it in the trunk and then I closed the door as fast as I could. It was then that I had a thought: If these THINGS could throw giant boulders across a lake; then they could destroy a car if they attacked by throwing smaller boulders that would fly further.
There was a big problem. I couldn’t speed away. I HAD NOT PUT THE FIRE OUT.
I would have to go BACK OUT THERE.
I searched the car’s glove box for a flash-light and turned it on, only to find that the batteries were weak and it was producing a dim light. It would have to do. A dim flashlight is better than NO FLASHLIGHT.
I got out of the car, shining the flashlight around frantically at all the nearby trees but it was too weak to light up the area. I quickly retrieved a bucket from the trunk that was intended to hold the fish that was now lying on the front passenger seat. Nervously, I proceeded to make my way back down to the water’s edge and BACK INTO THE RANGE OF THE CREATURES.
It was quiet again; too quiet; eerily quiet; DEAD QUIET.
Just as I had completely doused the fire, THE NEXT ATTACK COMMENCED- but even closer than before and now I was being SPLASHED with water as the boulders continued to land in the water. Whatever it was, it had moved in closer now that the fire was out. I ran for the car and tripped on a tree-root dropping the flash-light. IT WENT OUT!
NOW IN TOTAL BLACKNESS, I had to feel my way ahead and back to the relative safety of the car. If I wandered off the road and into the wilderness I could be LOST FOREVER. I expected to feel a giant fur-covered CREATURE in front of me blocking my path, but instead I banged my knee on the bumper of the car. I quickly got in and drove away- never to return to that lake again; AT NIGHT.
I survived that night to tell this tale.
My very first encounter with a BIGFOOT was the most TERRIFYING of all as you will see.
I had just moved from the city into a friend’s cabin while waiting to get a place of my own. His cabin was on a lake but without any neighbors. It was a long drive on a winding dirt road just to get to a highway and longer still to find other people if YOU WERE IN TROUBLE.
I was getting used to living like people did in the 1800’s. I carried in wood for the fire. I brought water in from the lake for washing and I was catching fish for dinner right off the dock.
It is the dock that is the location of this story, but not for the reason that you might think. Bigfoot would not be throwing boulders this time. This time he would be RIGHT BEHIND ME; waiting for me on the beach while I was TRAPPED ON THE DOCK.
As the sun set, the fishing from the dock was really good; I was catching a fish with almost every cast of my rod.
It quickly became DARK AND FOGGY; a dense soupy fog had rolled in but the fish were still biting and I was having fun SO I STAYED OUT LONGER THAN I SHOULD HAVE. That was my mistake.
Because the fog was so thick and close, I could not even see the shore behind me. I might as well have been on a raft- adrift on a lake in the fog because that it what it felt like. Later, I would wish that I was afloat on a raft and not near shore.
My first WARNING SIGN was the sound of crashing trees up the hill behind the cabin. I thought that it was probably a moose and kept on fishing.
My second WARNING SIGN was the sound of a large animal exhaling and then it made a snorting sound. I was convinced that it was a moose or maybe a bear so I stayed quiet hoping it would wander off.
My third warning SCARED ME TO DEATH. IT WAS A BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAM followed by a high pitched YIKE, YIKE, YIKE that sounded like it was close to the cabin.
So there I was, with whatever it was, between me and the safety of the cabin. I was TRAPPED ON THE DOCK with nowhere to go except into the cold lake. I would not last long in the frigid water of spring WITHOUT A LIFE-JACKET.
I had a flash-light in my tackle box and found a pair of fishing pliers that I would use for self-defense if this CREATURE came after me.
With the fog, the flash-light beam came to a stop about six feet or two metres away. I worked my way slowly down the dock, hearing every creak of the old boards with each step. I WAS STOPPED DEAD IN MY TRACKS after only a few steps by an awful smell. It was like the smell of honey but not so sweet and nice. It was a sickly sweet smell that seemed to be all around me just hanging in the fog.
THEN THE WORST HAPPENED; the dock boards nearest the shore started to creak with me standing still.
IT WAS COMING FOR ME!
I did the only thing I could think of and tried to communicate with the creature by screaming as loud as I could- and following it with YIKE, YIKE, YIKE. Before too long, the smell went away and I CAREFULLY made my way back into the cabin.
I guess I had said the right thing in its own language. He, she or it never returned.
I survived that night to tell this tale.
(Parents: Keep on reading to teach your kids about fear and how it can be used against you.)
Now here is why stories can scare you:
When it is dark and we can no longer see, we pay more attention to what we hear.
Everything seems louder and bigger and closer.
We let our imaginations get the better of us.
When we encounter something new that we do not understand we are naturally a little afraid of it.
Even grown-ups do this.
It goes back to a time even before our cave-man days when there really were giant creatures trying to get us.
Those early men learned when to fight and when to run and hide and this instinct is still with us to this day.
Now here is how stories can be made to scare us:
You were told that the writer had encountered a Bigfoot in the title but did he?
He HEARD things, SMELLED something and even was SPLASHED by something but did he ever see it?
You were told about a legend. A legend is just a story or tale that SOUNDS REAL. We call it fiction. There has never been ANY scientific proof found that proves the existence of a Bigfoot.
The writer began to scare you with CREEPY WORDS like: snakes, big dangerous things, lions, tigers, bears, cougars, wolves, bats, owls and how they come out at night.
The writer TOLD YOU that this was the third time he had run into Bigfoot so you thought it could be true.
In the first story, the writer used more SCARY WORDS like: alone, the air was deadly still, dark shadows everywhere and suddenly in the blackness.
You were told A GROWN-UP WAS SCARED AND WENT TO HIDE but nothing actually came to get him did it?
Did he ever see any giant boulders?
He just HEARD SOMETHING that his imagination associated with that sound.
With all three stories he tells you HE SURVIVED THE NIGHT to tell you the tale.
In the second story, the writer told us to build a fire because HE WAS AFRAID OF ANIMALS.
He used lots of SCARY WORDS: he told us a story he had only HEARD about bears so we don’t know if it is true.
HE SCARED US WITH WORDS like: no moonlight, eerily quiet, dark black night, something huge, he was alone and scared and something was not afraid of fire.
The writer told us there must be more than one creature throwing rocks to play on our FEAR OF BEING OUT-NUMBERED.
He could not run away. HE HAD TO FACE HIS FEAR. All that happened was he got splashed.
He tripped because he was scared. He broke his flashlight and imagined bumping into a fury creature but did he?
He just bumped into his own car.
THE WRITER SCARED US SOME MORE, talking about being alone and far away from people.
He used words like: right behind me, trapped, dark, foggy, could not see, boards creaking and a bad smell.
Did the writer ever see an animal or creature?
So why did he make up a scary story?
Scary stories can be exciting and fun if we DO NOT BELIEVE TOO MUCH OF A STORY.
Here is the true story behind all three tales that are not as exciting.
While startled and leaving after the KER-PLOOSH sounds began , mostly because it would scare the fish away, the writer looked up what he had heard and found out that beavers do this when you are too close to their lodge.
So in stories one and two there were not any Bigfoot monsters with giant boulders; only beavers using their tails.
In the last story, a moose came through the forest crashing trees and we know this because the writer found tracks the following day.
The horrible scream COULD HAVE BEEN ANYTHING from a barn owl to raccoons fighting to a lynx or bobcat or possibly even a fox.
The huffing, the loud exhale sound and the bad smell was most likely a bear attracted by the smell of the fish he had caught.
The writer now knows that if you are going to fish after dark you should do it wearing a life jacket with a fire on the shore or better still fish from a boat.
Now he always brushes his teeth before going to sleep in a tent.
WE ARE ONLY AFRAID OF THINGS THAT WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND, whether it is animals or people from different countries.
A note from the Author to parents:
Please do not help to make your children live in fear.
There are trying times ahead for future generations and we must stop passing our more ridiculous fears along to our children.
Being afraid to go into a lake is ridiculous.
Being afraid of thunder and lightning is ridiculous.
Being terrified of anything is ridiculous.
HAVING RESPECT FOR THE POWER OF NATURE IS PRUDENT.
Do not create people with irrational fears who put rubber boots on the posts of a bed and then hide under it in a lightning storm.
Your children learn how to manage fear from you.
How you handle your fears will have a directly impact on them.
If you fear something, research it.
Knowledge is the key to overcoming fear.
E. A. Barker