I often see strange things while running though I’m rarely in any sort of danger. One run stands out in my mind as being packed full of notable events. I was running along the Erie Canal Trail as I often do. Unfortunately I was alone for this run, abandoned by friends and coworkers. They missed out on an eventful run and also don’t believe all of my stories.
The run started out normal until I saw a what I initially thought was a large snake swimming in the canal directly towards me. This snake was obviously ready to attack and knew of my snake phobia. Why else would it so effectively track me as I ran by? As I looked closer I wondered how there could be such a large snake in this area of the country. Just then the snake split into three snakes! I knew then that it couldn’t be a snake. It was actually mink swimming in attack formation. First they disguised their numbers by swimming in single file and pretending to be a snake. Then for the second phase of their attack two of them flanked off while the one in the center distracted me. I was lucky to get out of there alive.
Having narrowly escaped death I didn’t expect another brush with death so soon. Odds just don’t work that way. If you are struck by lightning you probably won’t get struck again a week later…probably. Imagine my surprise as I rounded a corner underneath a bridge when a menacing teenager (get off my lawn!) whizzed by me nearly catapulting me into the canal. Once again I had escaped death.
For a couple of miles I was OK. On the very last mile I had my closest brush with death. There I saw a man walking two dogs. Normally I’m cautious around dogs but these looked nice enough and their owner was right there. Once again assuming that I could not have another close encounter of the death kind I didn’t announce that I was approaching (I usually give a friendly shout so dog owners can get their beats under control). These dogs weren’t leashed. One of the dogs didn’t mind me but the other did. It turned into a land shark and started running around me in circles barking and growling. I stopped dead in my tracks waiting for the owner to get the dog under control. Before the owner leashed the dog I was almost bitten. The dog scratched me but it was so minor that it didn’t even leave a mark. Once again I saw the face of death and yet I escaped unharmed.
Ye though I run through the valley of the Erie Canal I will fear no mink, geese, cyclists, nor dogs for I have escaped them and I shall again and again.