The Mountain Lion
Paul David Story
When the mountain lion came bounding onto the trail suddenly from the underbrush, Oscar froze, but only for a second before his knees completely buckled and then he was very flat, sweating, tasting the salt and dirt mix in his mouth and prayed ‘oh dear Jesus, dear Jesus get me out of here- please! Please-dear God! Oh dear God save me! If you save me I’ll never doubt you again- I’ll believe in you Lord-oh please save me! Please! Please, dear God!
We rushed forward shouting and throwing rocks, and Lalo swung the machete but the lion repositioned, moving rapidly off Oscar and up into the canyon out of sight. We helped Oscar back to his feet, and Lalo hinted at a smile but there were a lot of tears pouring from Oscar’s eyes. Blushing, he brushed and wiped himself off. We went back to work later on the trail after taking a drink at the ranch; and the day continued hot until the wind picked up and we became cheerful again. The next night in LA very drunk on the corner of Alvarado and 3rd Oscar did not tell the girl he picked up for a twenty about the lion, God or Jesus. And he never told anyone.
Paul David Story is a writer and ranch hand living just outside Los Angeles.