This is Isabella from the far north, somewhere in Scotland where, if you recall, it appears a family of bigfoot have become habituated to a locality near my home. For more than a year I’ve observed what I can of their presence, after the alpha male of this clan appeared on the hill above my cottage, making himself known for reasons I’m still trying to figure out.
Having reported to you on these experiences, I decided it might be interesting to provide updates as there are new developments. So here’s my first attempt at adding to the original report.
I’ve considered long and hard why this creature has trusted me enough to make himself known and realised it may be because I’m the one person in this area who doesn’t hunt or participate in annual shoots of birds and deer. There are other reasons too -- far more complex -- that I’ll report on later as they’re a story in themselves!
Anyway, although I had no thoughts of this creature’s existence until recently, his appearance has left me with a feeling of needing to protect him. My sighting was of a huge being so enormous as to be terrifying. If I’d seen him standing in front of me rather than from a respectable distance I imagine I’d have run screaming. On the other hand, there was such vulnerability in him standing there on the hill, nervously shifting back and forth, gauging what I’d do. If nothing else, we seem to have a healthy respect for one another; some kind of interest and curiosity. So I feel more and more responsible as his advocate, to broadcast the bit that I’ve learned.
In this edition I’ll explain about the effects of what would seem to be bigfoot vandalism in the area -- very bad press for a creature that normally stays hidden and people are generally unaware of or whose existence they deny. And I’ll explain why I think this is happening; that our bigfoot population may be at greater risk than anybody knows and without enough food.
Right now the hunting season approaches up here and last year the bigfoot seemed to vacate the area from early Autumn until Spring. The blackberries and raspberries, the tree fruit and mushrooms, are mostly gone by then. But this year they still seem to be around and there was a bit of a catastrophe related to their changed foraging patterns.
All of the area residents got a letter saying that, in the middle of the night, fencing had been torn up on a neighbouring estate. Someone had destroyed electric and barbed wire attached to metal posts that were sunk into cement -- and made no report of it. I was visualising that a car had gone out of control and perhaps the driver was drunk and irresponsible at a late hour. Then I learned that a great length of fence [thirty meters or so] had been balled up into a huge knot and thrown into the road, metal fence-posts and all.
I drove down that way to see the damage and it was rather breathtaking, all of it having been torn out of the ground and left in a knot – metal posts broken in half, cement fragments lying about. There were no tire tracks. In fact, large boulders would have prevented a car veering off into the brush. I imagined there’d be no obvious explanation to the landowner of what clearly seems a gigantic temper-fit to those who are aware of bigfoot’s presence here.
But I was apparently wrong. It’s possible I’m not the only one aware of these creatures because, for several nights afterward, well after midnight, there were guns firing into the pitch-black darkness. I’ve lived here some years now and this is something I’ve never heard before. I began to worry what was happening, being more or less convinced that our resident hairy fellow might be involved in this mysterious vandalism and was being hunted.
One morning I decided to take my dog and walk the perimeter of the area to search for other signs of activity, to understand what was happening out there in the dark of night. Sadly, there’s no way to warn the creature that this kind of infringement on human property was going to bring awful consequences for everybody. But maybe he’d see me out-and-about and realise not everyone was hostile or
carrying a rifle. As I left the cottage, I put a line of highly-polished glittering stones along the retaining wall where I sometimes find pebbles and wilted flowers left in little piles. Then I set out. Right away, I noticed that one of the hiding places in the rhododendron hedges below the cottage had been filled in with branches, as though to block access from the lane. And as I stepped up into the wooded area further along, heading into the foliage, there was a sudden, horrible stench -- a smell resembling a dead carcass mixed with fermented garbage. The odour was just overpowering. This seemed to be a classic warning not to continue into the woods. So I returned to the lane and walked a good half mile in parallel with the tree line to the area where the fence had been destroyed. Along the way, the smell gradually subsided.
As I stood looking at the place where the fence was now gone, the wire and posts torn away, I realised that, travelling “as the crow flies” some distance through the wood, the demolished fencing was in direct line with the observation “hidey hole” that the bigfoot had carved into the rhododendron hedge next to my cottage. Immediately below the ruined fence lay the main road and a lay-by where a long row of industrial-sized trash bins are stored, most often full of residential waste. Also very interesting -- this incident had occurred in exactly the same place as a large tree limb had been launched through the air to stop my car in an apparently “ambush” this past Spring.
It seemed clear from what I knew that the alpha male bigfoot was laying claim to dangerous virgin territory this year – but why? The dog and I walked on, leaving the farm lane for the main road, on approach toward the huge rubbish bins where I could see that one had been flung open and the contents ransacked. There was kitchen waste all over the ground: melon rinds, juice containers, chicken bones, ready meal cartons. I decided to come back later with bin bags and clean it up. Meanwhile, we continued down the path to a neighbouring shooting estate about a mile away and then turned to come back along the same route. The rubbish was still strewn along the ground when we passed by this time, but the bin lid had been closed with big muddy smears across the lid.
Taking in the entire situation I came to the conclusion that our alpha male was grasping for subsistence. Whatever he could glean from the river half a mile
below, combined with a reliable source of bin garbage. He could carry his takings uphill through the woods [minus that obstructive fence] exiting through the hidey hole at my cottage, and from there into the high fields via a deep drainage ditch, and beyond stretched the vast forests. In some ways – a bigfoot paradise. But it had also become clear the chances he was taking all of a sudden and I wondered what was forcing this change in habit; what drove his obvious desperation. I mean, between the time I’d passed by the strewn-about garbage the first time, looped around and returned, he’d been back to close the bin lid. In broad daylight. And after being shot at the night before.
The panicked nature of his grab for a new kingdom was falling into place as we began the uphill climb on the farm lane to the cottage, when I was suddenly struck by the most awful feeling of exhaustion and nausea. My heart pounded and I felt faint. My vision seemed dim and I was afraid I’d never make it home. The dog looked confused when I stopped to sit down on one of the large boulders just above the ruined fence. He began to whine and pace as he’s very apt to pick up on my mood and emotions. I pulled out the mobile phone I keep in my pocket whenever I go out walking and thought about calling for help. No sooner had I started to scroll through the address book when the feeling began to clear, and then suddenly disappeared I pulled myself up with my walking stick and we continued slowly, finally arriving at the door.
That evening as I sat at the table working I heard pebbles on the windows and owl calls -- something I hadn’t heard in a long while. I stepped outside and listened. Everything went dead quiet. “Are you here to apologise?” I asked. “Didn’t you see it was me? You know I won’t hurt you and I don’t have any guns. You know you’re welcome. We’re friends aren’t we?” The air was completely still. You could have heard a mouse sneeze. It’s been several weeks now with no sign of him at all. The stones I put out as an offering were never taken and I’ve brought them back into the cottage before their purpose raises any questions with walkers coming by on the lane.
I wonder if it’s the change of seasons and if the pebbles on the window were a
good-bye for now -- or an apology for having turned his energy against me; if it was a sad mistake. In any case, there’s no sign of him at the moment. It was frightening that he didn’t heed the guns and doesn’t seem to understand the ire that’s he raised in destroying property here. But I’ll be looking forward to any indication he’s still out there and meanwhile trying to think of ways to help. Garbage, after all, is not his natural food.
I think he knows what’s going through my mind and what I’m trying to say. In which case he realises that I cleaned up his mess at the bins to try to keep him out of further trouble. Surely he realises I’m on his side?
Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on future developments.
Signing off for now,