The Startle Factor

And so settles the age old question.

“So, there I was, minding my own business when he showed up. Actually, the he was a they, but I’m more terrified of him than the other ones. With the other ones, they don’t pose much of a threat or threaten us when they see us because they’re so small.”

“Then what’d you do? Did you lash out? Did you strike?”

“I swear they seem to be more afraid of us than we are of them. I don’t know that for sure because we don’t speak the same language. But once they see us, you’d think we were monsters or something.”

“What’s a monster?”

“I don’t know. Heard the phrase once and liked it.”

“So, tell us, Papa, what’d you do?”

Sammy considered his words, especially around his youngins. Didn’t want them to have nightmares thinking about them.

“Well, when you’re minding your own business and they sneak up on you, there’s the Startle Factor. I about coiled up in fear myself. I mean, those Humans are so huge, they could crush us if they wanted. One did try once and I nearly broke off a fang in his leather boots. Got away from Him pronto.

“So, my little ones. Once you get over that initial jolt and start, you should be fine. Just go on with your business and get out of theirs, if you can, that is, if they’ll let you.”

“But, Papa, are they more afraid of us than we are of them?”

“Depends. Depends on who you ask. Now, the ones who go out hunting for us? You need to get out and stay out of their way. Don’t just go hiding under a log. Run as far as you can from the ones with knives and guns.”

“That’s it, Papa?”

“Well, no. Don’t rattle until you’re ready to strike. That rattle will put fear into their hearts. Most of the time you won’t have to strike. The rattle will suffice.”

“Really? Seriously? Our little bitty rattle?”

“Trust me on that. They’ll run from you when they finally figure out what the sound is.”


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