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Category: Vi Making Friends With The Outdoor Folk

You may stalk an animal by remaining quiet as well as by following its
trail. To even see some of the inhabitants of woods, fields, and shore
you must be willing to exercise great patience and conform to their
method of hiding by remaining absolutely still. It is the thing that
moves that they fear. Some of the animals appear not even to see a
person who remains motionless. At any rate, they ignore him as they do a
stump or stone.

For this quiet stalking, find as comfortable a seat as you can where you
have reason to think some kind of animal or animals will pass and resign
yourself to immovable waiting. If the rock beneath you grows
unreasonably hard or the tree roots develop sharp edges, or the ground
sends up unnoticed stones of torment; if your foot "goes to sleep" or
your nose itches, bear the annoyances bravely and your reward will be
sure and ample. If the wait is unduly long and movement of some kind
becomes imperative, let such movement be made so slowly as to be almost
imperceptible. Remember that unseen, suspicious eyes will be attracted
by any sudden action and the faintest sound will be heard, for these
spell danger to the wilderness folk and if frightened away they are not
apt to return.

Keep your ears open to detect the first sound of approaching life. There
is a thrill in this experience, and another when the animal you have
heard comes boldly out before you. Then it is you will find that, in
some mysterious way, all bodily discomfort has vanished. Your whole
being is absorbed in the movements of the creature who is unconscious of
your presence, and there is no room for other sensations. More animals
may appear and perhaps a little drama may be enacted as if for your

It may be a tragedy, it may be a comedy, or it may be only a bit of
every-day family life; but you do not know the plot nor how many actors
will take part, and your very uncertainty adds zest to the situation.

Next: Animals Found on the Trail

Previous: In the Woods, the Fields, on the Shore. Stalking Animals and Birds

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