Merely glancing outside towards the more heavily wooded areas of my backyard, it is no secret that the natural preparations for a long freeze are already in full swing. Scores of various types of wildlife can be seen all over, and sometimes in impressive numbers as well. Most commonly found are deers and squirrels of course, but I’ve also observed the activities of foxes, hawks, flocks containing hundreds of tiny birds, and there is even rumored to be a coyote somewhere around these parts. The trees may appear barren and naked, but acorns and other edible plants are still plentiful, waiting to be stored away for harsher times.
With such an impressive array of animals visiting my home, I didn’t think that anything would be too surprising to discover out there. That was before I noticed an unusual creature shuffling about the base of a large tree, just on the fringes of my peripheral vision. Thoroughly intrigued, I ran outside to get a closer look to better identify this mysterious newcomer.
Not even my wildest guess would have come close to the truth that was revealed as my eyes focused in on this curiosity. It was none other than a Totoro, a creature previously considered to be a myth! Rotund and jolly, my new acquaintance appeared to be very friendly, not the least bit perturbed by this odd looking human hoovering over him. About to tempt fate and reach out to him, I stopped short when I noticed something quivering strangely behind him…
It was a second, smaller Totoro! For all his shyness, he still managed assert his position and make himself seen, attempting to gather all the bravery he could summon to continue the task at hand. I couldn’t help but wonder if Totoro hibernate for the winter, or if they simply make themselves scarce like usual. There was no time to ponder this however, as they were both in quite a hurry to return to the safety of the dense tangled brush at the perimeter of our property.
I doubt I’ll ever see them again, but I still hope that they find a warm and welcoming shelter in time for the colder weather. It would be a tragedy to loose such a rare species to a cruel season.