Speaking of the Church of Bigfoot…
As it happens I’m a nonbeliever. However something extraordinary occurred one day out here in California, something that I cannot explain. I promise I will not exaggerate and if one daughter wasn’t busy with calving and branding/castrating and if the other wasn’t busy with her new startup, they’d write their own versions of the story. Their perspectives do differ from mine. After all, I wasn’t the one who played with Bigfoot.
It was a Saturday. My nine year old son was off with friends, my husband was working, and I’d taken the two girls, six, and three, to the grocery story. When we arrived home I instructed them to go in the backyard and play, which they did quite willingly as neither wanted to help unpack the car and put away groceries. They took the dog with them, our golden retriever, Rosie.
As I unpacked the groceries I glanced out the kitchen window and noticed both girls gathering sticks, Rosie running circles around them. Good, thought I. Sticks will keep them busy! Then my mother called, so while I put away groceries, I chatted with my mom.
While I put away groceries and chatted with my mom, my older daughter kept running through the open patio door into the kitchen. She was as excited as I’ve ever seen her.
“Mommy! Mommy! There’s a bird out here and we’re playing with it! Mommy! We’re playing with a bird. We’re giving it sticks. Come outside and see!”
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. “I’ll come outside as soon as I put these groceries away. I promise.”
“I’ll be right out. I need ten more minutes. Okay?”
But she kept running in, time after time, urging me to come outside and see this so-called bird.
At last I paid attention. I looked out the window and watched my two girls shove sticks under our back fence. Something took those sticks. Something that was not a bird. I did a double take. I squinted. I couldn’t see what it was but I could definitely see that that was no bird reaching its beak under the fence.
Time for mommy to go outside and investigate.
By way of explanation– at that time there was an alleyway, actually a utility right of way that ran the length of our street. The city had borrowed ten feet of each property on our side of the street to create a right of way. It stretched from the end of the street behind the house to our left, where it opened onto a through street across from vineyards and forest, all the way to the other end which opened onto the far entrance of our court. The cross street there ran alongside open space. Although it is no longer open space (unfortunate housing developments), at that time the area teemed with deer, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and yes, mountain lions. It was common to find deer in our yard. A bobcat hunted in our court. From time to time someone would encounter the mountain lion out for an evening stroll.
The alleyway had never been used (by humans), in fact, our neighbors tried blocking the entrance from the through street, although as soon as they’d board it up, the boards would be broken or knocked down. The alleyway itself was overgrown with trees and shrubs. It still is, what remains of it. Most of our neighbors, unbeknownst to the city, have pushed their yards back, taking over that ten foot space. We’ve left ours intact because we don’t want to have to remove and rebuild fences and landscape/water anything more than we already have. Anyway I like it. Used to be it was a wildlife corridor. The raccoons and possums still use it. A family of squirrels lives in our section, along with a resident hummingbird family and, of course, the owl.
So on the day in question, yes, the alleyway was still viable from one end of the street to the other.
I headed outside. My daughters ran up to me. “Mommy! Mommy! Come see the birdie! He’s taking sticks! Maybe he’ll make a nest. Watch.”
My six year old led the way. She grabbed a handful of twigs and stuck them halfway under the fence. She wiggled them around. What happened next rocked my world.
I watched this huge hairy human-like hand complete with long streaked dirty fingernails reach under the fence into my yard and grab the twigs. Then this same hand pushed a handful of different twigs and leaves and grasses back under the fence for my girls to grab.
The girls were having a grand old time playing with this thing.
The fence was old. There were big gaps between the slats and it sat three inches above the ground– we’d had heavy rains over the winter that had eroded the soil and the retaining wall in the back of the yard along the fence line.
I had to see what this was. There was some creature or man in the alleyway that was attached to this giant hairy hand. It was playing with my children. I needed to know what on earth was playing with my children. Had some homeless man set up camp back there? Some homeless man with dark brown palms, 2-3″ long sparse reddish-brown hair on the back of his huge hands, with unbelievably nasty looking fingernails?
I climbed up the mound of dirt (where the retaining wall had been washed away) and stared through the slats.
For a few seconds, no, for more than a few seconds, I couldn’t breathe. I definitely had an out of body experience. I felt like I was seeing something I should not see. There, in the alleyway, squatted an enormous creature. Judging by its size where it squatted, I estimated that if it stood it would be well over six feet tall, maybe over seven feet. I saw huge thighs, calves, calloused bare feet. I could see its buttocks and its back. Its humongous arms and shoulders. No neck, or at least not much of a neck. Huge head. I saw its profile. The face was humanoid but not entirely human. The skin was dark brown and all but the face, palms of the hand and soles of the feet were covered with longish sparse reddish brown hair. A slight breeze blew up and ruffled the creature’s hair. That’s when it turned toward me, looked at me. Its eyes were definitely humanoid. It was not a gorilla. It was not a chimp. It was not an orangutan. I do not know what it was.
And that’s when I said, “Girls, go back in the house. Go. Now. Right. Now.”
I grabbed the dog and followed them inside. I called the police. They laughed at me. Even though I didn’t say Bigfoot is in my backyard, they laughed. I said, “There’s some kind of ape in my backyard.” They thought it was a hoot. But they did send animal control. Animal control arrived two hours later and found… (surprise surprise) nothing.
The memory of this day is vivid. Both my daughters remember it as well. This isn’t something one forgets. When they have time they’ll tell their own versions of — The Day My Daughters Played with Bigfoot.
If you don’t believe me, it’s okay. If I hadn’t seen this with my own eyes, whatever it was, I wouldn’t believe me either. 🙂