If anyone has sat and listened to the noises of the night they would be surprised. And if they would listen really, really, really close they could hear the sounds that are not animals, insects, birds, or sounds that are normal for the night. Most outdoors-people have sat by a campfire many times and when they would listen, they can hear the bullfrogs, crickets, owls, bobwhites, whippoorwills, dogs barking in the distance and more. Let me tell you a tale of one of our campfire nights that put a different perspective on what is out in the woods. We had worked all month and was excited to get a peaceful week at the campground and the first night we sat out by the fire to relax. We had talked for awhile and was admiring the beautiful galaxy of stars and the peace of the night. It was well after midnight and I think we were the only campers still sitting outside that night. We were watching the flames of the campfire when we heard a sound in the woods that was different from all the sounds we had heard before. We looked at each other and said at the same time, “What was that?” we waited and few minutes later we heard it again, but this time it was a bit closer. It sounded like an animal crying or whimpering at first, then each time it sounded closer and closer. We were shinning our flashlight to see if we could see the creature making the sound. When we shined the flashlight, the sounds stopped. We figured it was a coyote or bobcat and the light scared it off. It was kind of eerie not knowing what was making the sounds. We sat and watched the fire and was ready t o head into the camper when we heard the noise again, but it was so close we both jumped. I flipped my light over quickly and in a glimpse, we saw what looked like half cat and half person about the size of a large dog. Without hesitation I screamed and dropped the light and darted into the camper. My hubby picked up the light, but by the time he shined it back the creature had darted off into the woods. When my husband came back in, he said I was white as a ghost. I asked him what in the heck was that and he said it must’ve been a wild bobcat that had a deformity. I said, no way…that thing was half human! We talked about it way into the night. The next morning when we went outside the garbage was torn to pieces and there were feet prints all over the table that looked like a human a little. We told the park ranger when he made his rounds of what we had seen the previous night and he said there had been numerous sightings of this creature and mainly it was after food. The Ranger said he thinks it’s a mountain lion or large bobcat that resembles a human. That night we sat by the fire, but never heard or seen the creature. When we were ready to go inside, I decided to leave some leftover food for it since the Ranger had said it was just hungry and looking for food. The next morning the food was gone with the same prints as the following morning and our garbage wasn’t torn to pieces. Every night that week we left food out for it and each time it was gone with the same prints. Our last night we sat out latter than normal and we heard the whimpering sounds and I realized it probably was coming after the food. I went inside and brought out bread and peanut butter and made two sandwiches and put them on the table about five feet from us. Within minutes the creature came into sight and cautiously grabbed the sandwiches and darted off. We didn’t want to scare it by shinning the light, but by the firelight it was neither human nor complete animal. We only had the firelight to see it, but for sure it was something we had never seen nor ever probably see again. The moral of this story is, when you are sitting outside and hear an unfamiliar sound, don’t assume what it is. We take it for granted it is a normal creature, but could it be a creature we had never seen before or one that we hear all the time, but we don’t pay attention to. Take a challenge and sit out tonight after reading this and see how many different sounds you hear.