First of three encounters with lions

I was about 15
Fishing on our creek
Then backed up by
A dam to irrigate, &
I was drowning worms
In a deep hole, the sky
Was dark from a forest fire
Near Prospect, & a guttural
Coughing noise came from the
Other side of the creek, my
Border collie, started to whine
& bark, become defensive,
I had no idea what was up
& she ran to the bank to where she
Could cross & once across she
Dove into the brush below an old high water
Cut bank topped with pine
& 40 feet from me, out came a cougar
Running like a cat, tail
Whipping for balance &
Bringing its hind legs in unison
Clawing earth & running away
From my fierce border collie.

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