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On The Trail Of a Dear . . .
Learning To Stalk ... and Be Stalked
by Maricia Mlynek

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The life of a trainee is not all shopping, reading, and studying. The classroom has moved outdoors. We have begun to do some scouting. As we walked through the woods, up huge hills, and down neck-breaking slopes, Andy never slowed. Branches clip me, briars catch me, and mud grabs at my boots, but I continue in the quick pace of my dear. I once asked for a hand as I slid down a bank. From the look on his face, I knew that I had a better chance of being caught by the cold Little Kanawha. “Maricia,” Andy said, “You asked to come along. You must keep up.” He is like a drill sergeant.

Buck rubs.

Our scouting has led to some gorgeous places. When we happen upon a lovely glimpse of Mother Nature at work, he does slow down to point out the beauty around us. I love this about him. We sat quietly on the edge of a clearing as a herd of deer nibbled away at the grass. It was worth the huffing and puffing up the hills.

Sometimes, Andy will leave me sitting in one spot as he scouts around a perimeter for tracks and rubbings. He has been disappointed with his findings so far. I confess that my favorite part of this activity is seeing him stalking about in the distance. He will always be a soldier, and his sniper courses will forever be engrained in him. There truly are times that he is impossible to see. He becomes his surroundings.

This is a fantastic thing to experience, yet frightening too. Unfortunately, he can be so stealthy that I become vulnerable to a heart-pounding fright. You can imagine how fun that is for him. It’s like a sleeping cat pounced upon by a mean dog. With no enemy to watch, he only has one person to torment and trap--me. When his ghillie suit came out of the closet, that was a sign to be on full alert.

Now you see him...

Now you don't.

A ghillie suit is an outfit designed for stalking. This suit is not worn for hunting animals. It is used in hunting man. I can assure you that I am on guard when I see the appearance of the ghillie. I am certain that somehow in our scouting experiences, this suit might come into play.

I was hoping to enjoy this series, but I believe Andy is having the most fun. Is it too late to change my mind? I began this series as a wife on the trail of her dear. I became a new enlistee in basic hunting and have ended up a possible target of the ghillie suit man. When is this season over again?


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