Mary Morony, Author of Apron Strings, Done Growed Up and If It Ain't One Thing

What To Fear Most

What To Fear Most

Reader beware of this post. It has all of the makings of some heavy shit.

82° didn’t seem so hot after a week of steady 95°+ when I set out for a walk in the woods, all deeted-up and ready to go. The rallying call of want to go for a walk brought my faithful dogs at a gallop. After the last preparation of anointing them with fly spray had been done, we set off.

definition of the word Fear.Walking in the woods is one of my favorite past times. Often I allow ticks, chiggers, and snakes to suck all the fun out of it. Every so often, I marshal my courage and soldier on; pests be damned. When I have the pluck to look, I see that tis I, who gives these insidious irritants dominion. My furry boy Hagar illustrated that point beautifully today.

In his past, Hagar and a horsefly had an unfortunate encounter, hence the fly spray. In Hagar’s mind, he came out the loser. Since that time my dog blogging friend has been keenly aware of all things buzzing. There is a patch in the woods where these inhabitants of Hagar’s nightmares congregate.

Even knowing full well that he has on the magic shield –I know this because he stands and lets me spray him stem to stern with fly spray, he goes cautiously. When we approached horsefly haven, a monster fly buzzed about never landing just dive bomb. Protected with spray, I would have thought his fears allayed. Sister Sophie too was visibly nervous.

Try walking on an overgrown trail wedged between two giant dogs convinced that I alone can protect them from the dreaded nemesis. It was if the fly was toying with the dogs. It would flit along quietly as the two hounds, and I stumbled practically joined down the path. After of few minutes of my grumbling about them being under my feet and the fly’s lack of noise they would resume their usual reconnaissance. At which point the fly would go into a full tilt oration of buzzing. Hagar would scrunch into himself, tail tucked, head, neck, and shoulders hunkered in and rapidly scooched to the nearest tuft of shaded grass where he hunched himself down into a small ball of quivering dog flesh. “What are you afraid of?” I asked. “It’s nothing you silly dog.”

As Hagar scuttled from tuft to tuft for the next few miles, I contemplated my own fears. Since I allow the triad above a certain amount of control over one of my life’s pleasures, I started with them. I couldn’t say I was afraid of ticks and chiggers – snakes, maybe. The pests were just annoying. I already have Lyme disease, so that doesn’t hold much fear for me. I do hate to itch, but I’m not afraid of it. The thing about snakes is the not knowing where they are or when they’ll appear.  It’s more about being taken unaware than real fear. Like when you were a kid and went into some neighbor’s spider-webby-dark-and-eerie haunted house. You knew the blood and gore couldn’t be real, but when someone jumped out and surprised you with a tremendous “BOOOO!!”… man, was that scary.

I rail against the press for fear mongering. Fear is everywhere these days. Our presidential campaigns are rife with it consequently social media bubbles and churns like a fomenting witches brew. What are we afraid of? The list is longer than the days it would take to write it, so I boiled it down to the essence. I dare not speak for anyone but myself in this, although I suspect we are all in this same boat. What I fear the most is nothing.

scaryI see myself skirting from one tuft of solace to another, looking for a reprieve, like Hagar. Like a cat in a litterbox, I also try to cover up my fear of nothing with all manner of stuff and nonsense. I’m terrified of total annihilation. What if all of the warm fuzzy exits we have cooked up over the eons of human existence, from heaven for the chosen, to reincarnation and everything in between including burning in hell, are just so much fluff. What if it’s truly OVER when it’s over? Now that I realize I just said “burning in hell seems like fluff,” it is clear the sun must have gone to my head. Better wear a hat next time.

To summarize

    1. Prepare for the unknown, but don’t fear it
    2. Small flying bugs/large dogs with small brains don’t mix
    3. BOOOO is a very scary word
    4. Fear nothing


  1. Cynthia McNary

    1 September

    Snakes are sneaky….they’re quiet, they hide until such time as they know they can scare you for maximum affect…
    and I’m convinced when they look at you with their beady eyes and stick out their tongue, they put an evil curse on you. Just my opinion of course.

    Love your story, Mary.

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