Discover more from The Remarkable Fools Letter
the chronicles of a backyard hobbit
facing fears one rat at a time
We have a three foot tall half door underneath our back deck. It’s a half door, a hobbit door. Also under the deck? Dry, seasoned wood waiting to get burnt. The Hobbit door goes to my part of the house - the rough back room, the workroom in the basement. The floor is rough. There are tools everywhere. I really should sweep up the woodchips someday.
My wife calls it my hovel. Outside of my hovel, I have a propped up pallet that I sit on. It’s a great place to enjoy the still of the night. I’m sheltered from most rain, snow and wind. I spend time there most evenings.
As I sat there last night, something ran through my woodpile. I heard a kerfluffle. There was scratching. There was squeaking. In a flash, I saw a bare tail about a foot long. This was a nasty, bald, fleshy tail flashing before me. What happens to you when you’re irrationally afraid?
Me? My hair all stood on end, I held my breath, jumped and shouted all at once. Yes, it’s difficult to hold ones breath and shout at the same time. For us Remarkable Fools? Anything is possible. After that? I froze.
When it comes to being alive, we fools know that there are only two directions you can go - forward, towards something you desire, or backwards, away from something repellent. Most times, I’m a firm believer in forward motion. Most times, I’m one to encourage you to ‘keep going’.
It’s important to face fear. There is little more rewarding than breaking through the fear barrier. There is also a time and a place to do these things. Smoking a joint and meeting a rat with a foot long tail at midnight is not my ideal time for such adventures.
Sometimes, it’s better just to back away, eat some midnight toast and peanut butter and leave the rats alone. Back away. Let the fear move you. It’s ok. You’ll live to fight another day.
Just wait twenty minutes, walk past the same spot with two rat sized dogs. The’ll protect you.
But occasionally, just occasionally, there might be a rat in your woodpile. Even though it's just a rat, and nothing to get upset about, your irrational fears are your own. Face them when you can.
When I go back here again?
I’m bringing my dogs.
Their combined 22 pounds of teeth and fear aggression are no match for any rat.
How do you face fears?
Where do you get support when you do?