Forty-five year old Chris Morgenroth remained calm as two large wolves — the small female circling behind him — continued to bear down on him along an Elwha River trail in June 1916.
He was certain that they would abandon this aggressive behavior and break off the attack at any moment.
But when the gap between him and those menacing jaws had closed to less than 40 feet, he began to doubt this assumption. He began to take inventory of his defensive options. Except for a sharp pencil, he had nothing which could be considered a weapon.
The rocks were only chicken-egg size on the trail surface; barely adequate. All close-at-hand sticks left much to be desired as well, being either too brittle or too decayed.
That left Chris with only his fists if these canines came within arm’s length. Chris knew that would be far too close. Beside, he was outnumbered.
Chris realized that a tree to climb would put him beyond any harm from those threatening jaws. He also began to realize that these two wild creatures weren’t being one bit tentative. They looked hungry.
Chris spotted a short, 12-inch-diameter snag nearby. It was just tall enough that he believed he could hoist himself above the reach of the teeth of those wolves. It had no limbs, though. But by now Chris was beginning to feel a need for urgency. This snag would have to do.
But before Chris resorted to that withdrawal to the base of that snag, he decided to make a more determined effort to drive his attackers away with more than mere shouts.
If this tactic worked, he wouldn’t have to depend on his tree-hugging skills. So he intensified his aggressive posture by advancing toward the large male while shouting louder than ever, waving his arms and even tossing his hat. That beast didn’t hesitate one bit in its advance. It was now only 30 feet away.
That last-ditch tactic was quickly abandoned as Chris retreated to the base of his only escape route.
Within seconds he was out of reach of the two wolves, who by now were looking hungrily up at him.
Besides being out of reach, he had an ace up his sleeve. For just before climbing he had dropped two of those egg-sized rocks into a pocket.
As Chris hangs on for dear life with on two rocks as weapons, let’s take a commercial break. Here’s another plug for my upcoming book, “Thus Far.”
Which, by the way, is thus far advancing toward the print shop — though not at the rate previously projected. Printing may now be months away.
Anyway, besides what you faithful readers already have read, there will be two more romances, a secret escape and perhaps the first recorded incident of auto towing road rage.
Now back to our regular programming:
Will those animals that now have Chris treed quickly give up the hunt — or will they wait him out? He’s starting to cramp up, but only he knows that. See how this turns out next week.
May light for you feet guide you on the path of life until we meet again.