She followed the boot prints until she realized just where the meandering trail was leading…to that place!
Crap! She thought. Just then she thought she heard just the barest hint of a soft click and froze.
Make that a double crap, she amended. Very carefully she examined her surroundings. Looking intently, she finally noticed the small contraption up on the tree….the same tree where the prints walked up to, then backed away. She quickly got out of the view of the camera and began to thoroughly look around. There were other prints also but they seemed to be much older. Now that she was really paying attention, she could see that this camera was checked about once every couple of weeks, maybe once a week at the most.
She also noticed that there had been some attempt to erase the prints, but she caught a glimpses of old and older prints, besides one small new partial heel print; here and there.
She slid down beside the trunk of the tree and thought for a moment. If she left the thing, then they would know she was there. If she took it, then they would know someone was there, but not how many or who…or whether they took it for possible evil purposes. And she figured that if they didn’t know what happened to the thing, they would be all over the woods trying to figure out just what was going on.
She decided to leave it and chastised herself for being so careless. She had thought she knew where all the cameras were, but if she missed this one, then chances are she missed more.
She decided that with nothing better to do, she would be making sure she knew exactly where all the cameras were and find possible trails that were camera free.
The next two weeks were full of intensive and careful searching. By the time she called it quits, she had found FIVE more cameras that she hadn’t know about. One day she had been able to follow a couple of boys who were plodding through the woods, well ok, they weren't exactly plodding; but they weren’t actually making an effort to be extra quiet. They actually walked right under her one time while she was up in a tree she climbed when she realized that someone was coming. She then slid down the tree and followed them and that was how she found three of the five of the unknown cameras. These farm people were learning well.
Today she decided to go hunting and see if she could bring home some fresh squirrel meat for dinner. Her path took her very close to where the first hidden camera was. She was following an old small animal trail when she came up on what looked like a plastic wrapped piece of paper. It looked like someone had tossed it there probably about a week or so ago.
She figured that those people had seen her picture and that this was a NO TRESPASSING note, although a discreet one.
She went ahead and pulled the paper out and read it.
Poppy had invented a new game. I was so excited! I had to wait one hour after he left and then go find him. Kinda like an expanded ‘hide and seek’. The Bugger wanted to go along but Granny said she would make sure he stayed close to the house. We both knew that he didn’t have the patience for stalking. He was a brilliant boy (don’t tell him I said that) but wilderness skills were things that bored him quickly. Give him a PC, and he’d hack into the IRS and make sure you got a refund for $100,000 every year!
“Fine, I’ll just hack into Momma’s bank account and get us some candy money” he declared just as my hour was up and I slipped out the door.
Oh the fresh air was like liquid lightning in my veins! I took a deep breath and began my hunt. When and IF I succeeded (which so far I hadn’t) there was a leather back pack lovingly hand made by Poppy as my prize. I had to find him before dusk.
Determined to catch my quarry, I began to slowly circle the house to see if I could pick up Poppy’s trail. I found where he jumped up on the pump house by the chicken coop and I couldn’t help thinking….I wonder if….yes, he did what I would do…he jumped into the coop hoping that the chickens would erase any prints! I stifled a giggle, after all this was serious stuff! That back pack has eluded me four times now!
I picked up Poppy’s trail again just past the burn barrel and although it looked like he was headed to the woods, I decided to not take that for granted. I was shortly glad I hadn’t because Poppy had double backed on me and I figured out that he had walked backwards! Once you know just what a backwards footprint looks like, you don’t forget just what looks different.
The real trail went into the woods about 50 feet further towards the east. I slipped into the trees and continued with the hunt.