The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Karl Terry
Local columnist 

Mountain lions, grizzly bears stalk my nightmares


October 18, 2020

What is your worst nightmare?

What I’m really asking is when you have a nightmare what is it normally about?

Do you have fright movie scenes with characters like Jason and Freddy Krueger? Or are you in a freefall flailing as you drop or are you drowning in an ocean?

My nightmares might not make a good Halloween movie but they might make a great Field and Stream story.

I don’t get them often, but when I do have a nightmare I wake myself up in the middle of an animal attack. My screams usually startle my wife awake and send the dog cowering down the hall. When my heartbeat returns to normal I can relate what was attacking me to my wife. It’s about the only dream I ever recall after awakening.

I think it probably all started when I was but a wee lad. Animal adventure was big in movies and TV back then and I couldn’t get through an episode of Daktari. There was always a lot of growling snarling animals in that show. I would hide my eyes in the cushions of the couch until the drama was over.

Yeah, I missed quite a bit back then. It was years before I could tell you exactly what happened when the rabid wolf attacked Old Yeller. I think it all rooted in my nightmares.

As an adult my nightmare attacks are normally either by mountain lions or bears. In particular, grizzly bears really like hanging out in my dreams. I’ve never seen a grizzly bear in the wild, though what I wrote off one day as a black bear sow and cubs sure looked like a grizzly family.

I get stalked or chased by these wild slobbering creatures before they finally attack. As far as I know every one of these dreams that I remember was ended with me hollering and maybe even screaming as backed up by my wife. She’s gotten a big enough kick out of it that she found a big throw pillow with a near life-size grizzly bear face photo in full snarl printed on it.

I haven’t had one of these dreams in a long time, but the last few weeks I’ve been tempting fate. No, I haven’t been hanging out at the zoo at feeding time. I’ve found a History Channel series about hunting the great brown bears of Kodiak Island, Alaska. The show features actual hunt footage that is occasionally pretty dramatic.

The other thing I’ve watched lately was a Youtube clip that you may have seen of a Utah hiker who encounters mountain lion cubs on the trail and mommy mountain lion immediately begins stalking him as he slowly backs down the trail — for over six minutes.

I won’t lie; mountain lions are the only creatures that really worry me much in the wild places where I’ve been. If that video doesn’t spur a nightmare, then my nightmares aren’t affected by waking events.

Sleep tight and sleep with your Bowie knife.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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