How to NOT Get Tossed Into a Ravine

An Adventurer’s Guide

Nature.

You never appreciate it until you take the time to fully embrace it.

Have you ever taken the time to smell the fresh moss, or sink your fingers into an animal’s fur, or splash in a mountain stream?

It’s an eye-opening experience. Most people would say it brings mental clarity.

Of course, most people haven’t done all three at once.

It’s possible, I suppose, to enjoy the experience. If there’s a lovely pool in a mountain brook with crystal-clear water, and a nice, soft patch of moss along the side to lean against as you float, and you’re reaching up onto the bank to stroke your loyal husky—then it’s possible to enjoy the experience.

If that were how I spent my day yesterday, I would probably be writing a spa brochure right now. “Husky Heaven” or “Mountain Paradise.” I could probably make a good deal of money that way.

But I’m not, in fact, writing a spa brochure. My experience yesterday has nothing to do with mountain streams or soft beds of moss. It doesn’t even have anything to do with huskies, sad to say.

What I’m writing is more of an instruction manual than anything else. An instruction manual for how to not get tossed into a ravine by an angry yeti.

Step One: Do not—and I repeat, do not!—intrude into the yeti’s territory. You can generally tell where this is based upon the lack of any other animals in the area, and the very large droppings with signs of said other animals in them.

Step Two: Should you accidently intrude into the yeti’s territory, do not decide that you’d like to find out what sort of animal could apparently chew up and partially digest large sections of mountain goat in one sitting.

Step Three: In the unlikely event that you foolishly decide that you would, in fact, like to find out what sort of animal could apparently chew up and partially digest large sections of mountain goat in one sitting, do not venture into the dark cave to get a closer look at the sleeping yeti.

Step Four: It’s regrettable that there is a step four. This should go without saying. But if you find yourself in the mouth of a dark cave with a sleeping yeti, do not—oh, for the love of all that is good and beautiful—do NOT decide that you would like to know what color the yeti’s eyes are. Not even if you’re curious.

Step Five: Should the yeti wake up and growl at you, do not try to soothe him by naming him and telling him—or rather, I suppose I should be calling him Ted now—that you’re his new best friend. Contrary to what you might think, it doesn’t work.

Step Six: When the yeti grabs you and attempts to crush your brains out of your skull, do not try to escape him by tickling him. It only makes him angrier.

Step Seven: If the yeti were to give up on squishing your brains and instead drags you to the nearest stream to drown you, do not attempt to tackle him. I don’t know about all yetis, but Ted is decidedly too buff for that, and it only gets you entangled in his long, mossy fur.

Step Eight: If you’ve gotten this far in the process, then there isn’t much hope, I’m afraid. But let me assure you that complementing Ted on how nicely he was dunking me in the creek didn’t help matters. Consequently, if you find yourself being shoved into a mountain stream by a yeti, do not appeal to his sense of vanity.

Step Nine: Do not insult his mother in your anger. And if you do, and he doesn’t understand you the first time because you’re talking while coughing up the minnow you half-swallowed, do not repeat yourself. Honestly, this should be obvious, but in my personal experience, some fools will do it.

Step Ten: After you survive the attempted drowning and would like a last-ditch effort to avoid a painful yeti-induced death, there are several actions you can take. You can try to punch the yeti, or hug the yeti, or run for your pathetic life. Or you can try all three in order like I did. But in all things, if you value your life, your sanity, and your dignity, do not allow yourself to get chased to the edge of a cliff. And if you do that, do not turn around and yell, “Whatcha gonna do, throw me off a cliff?” Because apparently, the answer is yes.

So there you have it: a ten-step plan to avoid being tossed down a ravine by a yeti. I rather wish things had turned out differently—designing a spa brochure sounds rather nice at the moment—but such is life.

You might find it amazing that I survived such a thing. After all, I got pummeled, Ted tried to squish my brains, I almost drowned and choked on a fish at the same time, and then I got tossed off a cliff and into a rocky gully.

I find it rather amazing that I survived, too, and what’s more, without major injury. I suppose that there must have been some kind of reason that I survived the experience—probably so I could give a warning to anyone who was thinking of venturing into a yeti’s territory, disturbing the yeti, trying to appeal to the yeti’s better self, taunting the yeti, or insulting the yeti’s mother—or any combination thereof. After all, without rugged adventurers to try things for the first time, the world wouldn’t be such a safe place.

Now I’m writing this instruction manual up so hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes as I did. It might take a bit of time to get it out to the general public, however. After all, I’m still stuck in the ravine. I found a nice little cave where I could spend the night, and I plan to hike out as soon as the sun is high in the sky—everyone knows that yetis, being naturally from cold environments, don’t like the heat of the day.

That said, I probably shouldn’t have to worry too much about it. I highly doubt that Ted would share his territory with a sasquatch, and there’s one of those right across the cave from me.

Hmm, I wonder what color his eyes are?

© Copyright Rachel Scheller 2020

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