The Cougar Song
by Dianne Neal Matthews
One thing I hate about moving frequently and living away from kids, grandkids, extended family, and old friends is not being able to celebrate special days with loved ones. That’s why I try to plan something special for my husband’s birthdays with the “big” numbers. This week the two of us are taking a short trip to celebrate his seventieth. I’m having flashbacks to another milestone birthday ten years ago…
When Richard turned sixty, we had recently moved to Utah. I booked a room at a lodge in Heber near Wasatch Mountain State Park for a couple of nights. On our first day, we parked to follow a rustic trail going up into a wooded area and were greeted with a sign warning that cougars were often sighted in the area. As we started out, I kept reminding Richard that we were supposed to be talking as the sign advised, to warn the wildlife of our presence. He was not inclined to talk, so I composed a song as we walked, using the list of rules from the sign:
I like cougars, I think they’re pretty nice.
I might have seen one, once or twice.
And if a cougar comes strolling by
I’ll be sure not to look it in the eye.
I’ll wave my arms and I’ll make a lot of noise.
I’ll tell it that girls taste worse than boys.
But if it eats Richard, including his ears,
I’ll say, “Oh well, he had 60 good years.”
Did my husband appreciate my efforts to keep us safe? No.
Did he appreciate the way I wove his sixtieth birthday into the song? No.
Personally, I figure I saved the man’s life that day.
In addition to penning life-saving song lyrics, Dianne Neal Matthews is the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or her Facebook Author Page.