Beast with a one leg track

While away in Morocco recently I worried, of course, about things, and also stuff, and it would have been weird if I didn’t, as that is the activity two thirds of my brain is dedicated to around 98.7% of the time (official figure – reality probably higher). But. But I didn’t worry about stuff anywhere near as much as I could have done, and so therefore, on reflection, must count the trip as a Good Trip during which I Did Well.

There were many things I might have worried about, of course. Murderers, for one. There is always a possibility of murderers, and that chance can only be increased by the foolish notion of tent-sleeping, which is an invitation to murder if ever I saw one. Nevertheless, I managed not to worry about being murdered at all.

Or barely at all, anyway. I think I managed that by, on around the second day, thinking of becoming a murderer myself.

I wasn’t really going to murder anyone, of course, not actually. But the fact of being on a group expedition with a set of people who didn’t apparently know each other at all, thrown together at close quarters comfortably far away from pesky police people did strike me as a fabulous setting for an Agatha Christie style murder mystery. So, while spending long hours with my arm hanging out of a landrover or staring at some canvas wondering what sleep would be like, I started planning complex killings and twisted webs of hidden motives, and really really nasty things to do with tent pegs.

I wasn’t as worried about scorpions and snakes and other nasty bitey things either, much.

Soon after we arrived in desert places proper, I realised that the only scuttling things were the previously pictured Scuttle-bug (I think more formally known as a scarab beetle) and though they did scuttle at you with a certain vigour and grim determination, they didn’t seem to want to do much when they got there.

Scuttling things in general are Very Bad (mice being a notable example, as many will know. But there’s something different about mice, in that they generally like to scuttle UNDER things, such as sideboards, and ON things, like hardwood floors, and for that matter, sideboards, and this makes them infinitely worse, and there weren’t any sideboards at all in the Western Sahara or at least not in the bits I was in)

(I’ve now given myself a serious fear of sideboards, and am starting to seriously panic about that sideboard we’ve been thinking of getting. Nasty, evil, mouse attractors that they are. Am I still in brackets? Yes, I am. Right…), but these scarabby scuttlebug things were alright, becaue they were quite straightforward and unsideboarded about their scuttling, and I respect that.

So I didn’t worry about those.

I did worry about a whole bunch of other things, as previously stated, and, it has to be said, I worried quite a lot about the wildlife wandering around in the night. In particular the tracks of one beast that I spotted when taking pretty pictures of the sun rising over the dunes.

To whit:


See, this is TERRIFYING. There’s only one track! There’s only ONE TRACK, do you see?

This is a whole new world of scary beast.

Is it a desert hare or rabbit? Well, only if it is hopping. And not hopping in the sense of like a rabbit, hopping in the sense of ‘On One Leg’. WHY?
Is it a desert dog? Possibly, but one who walks very carefully, with one foot just in front of the other, like a supermodel in camel-toe hotpants.
There is only one other choice. It could otherwise be a MUCH LARGER BEAST on a novelty pogo stick.

These are terrifying options, all.

As I sat on the sand and considered the ways I could plausibly die, and which of the terrifying beast-options were the most alarming.

1) A mincing dog.
2) A bouncing lion on a pole.
3) Stinky the one-legged killer desert bunny of doom.

Worst of all, the tracks track led toward the landrovers, and we saw no since of it after that. You know what that means? Whatever it was, It Came With Us.

You know, I haven’t completely unpacked my bag, yet

Although I should, because at some point, I may need that wrench.

[Yeah, sorry, that was one thing I forgot to mention. When I reached the depths of the sahara, I reached to the bottom of my tightly, well-packed bag and discovered that somehow I’d managed to bring to Morocco a large wrench. From the house-move, I assume. Id wondered why my bag was so damned heavy.
Still. Could have come in handy with the murderers, eh?

Or the murders, for that matter.