Off the Map Week Three: The kindness of strangers


“I could club you with this,” spoke my straight-faced friend, Minnow, hefting a sizeable log in her tiny hands. She claimed to be kidding … just making a playful comment after we had inched our way out onto a cliff to get a dramatic glimpse of Deckertown Falls. Yet only fifteen minutes later, I was standing on the edge of a similar cliff and heard, “Look out!!!” I jumped uphill, and less than a second later, the upper third of a tree crashed down exactly where I had been standing! Minnow had nudged the base of the dead tree and accidentally triggered the collapse. I could have been knocked senseless, rolled off the cliff, and plummeted fifty feet to the canyon floor! My companion looked wide-eyed, shocked and innocent, but I made a mental note to myself: maybe I should let her walk in front for a while, just to be on the safe side.

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