Tuesday, July 25, 2006
The Horror of the Alaskan Bush
God, how terrible and beautiful is your creation. I blinked off the sleep and stood by the door of the sturdy cabin and listened intently. Had the terror of the night drawn away or was it waiting in the fog, waiting for me to escape my relative safety and leave myself vulnerable to its insatiable appetite for blood. Should I trust the silence. Should I trust the peaceful foggy stillness. Should I venture into the dew-soaked grasses where the most persistent, horrible, blood-thirsty, predator lies – more horrible and deadly than any monster detailed in the annals of human history, waiting to let my blood, waiting to pierce my flesh and pull the very life from my veins with its relentless attacks. The tracks of the Alaskan Brown Bear and the wolf could be found within a hundred yards of where I stood but their threat, their hunger paled in comparison to this death-dealer, this creature of the lowlands, the pilot of the night, whose incessant song of conquest could be heard throughout the world from swamp to subway, from taxi to tundra and most places between. I opened the door a crack and stepped into the morning. Dew hung heavily in the grass and willow branches and soaked me as I crept through and then it began. Hearing the low hum I bolted to the outhouse and was assailed heavily, blood flowing, as one more generation of the horrible mosquito fulfilled its destiny and mine.