“Ye-ti! Ye-ti! Ye-ti! Ye-ti!” Peeper called. She let out a squeal-shriek that was nothing if not abominable. She peeked around trees.
She was searching for a yeti.
Over the weekend we went to Mary S Young State Park in West Linn for a family hike. As Peeper rode on her dad’s shoulders, I asked her, “Where’s the yeti?”
Legendary ape-like creatures are plenty real to Peeper thanks to the book Yeti Turn Out the Light!, a tale about a certain yeti who is scared of shadows, which she and I read probably six times a day. It seemed natural, then, to hunt for one in the forest, where the book’s title character lives.
Just before we headed to the park, we went to the Victorian Christmas party at the John Tigard House Museum near our apartment. Peeper let go of her death grip on my arms only long enough to grab a few animal crackers, and when I suggested she say hi to Santa—not even sit on his lap—she burst into tears.
I was struck by the contrast between that anxious little girl and the one who had to be corralled so she didn’t careen off the side of a hill or land waist-deep in a puddle. She is clearly more comfortable stomping in mud and picking up sticks than she is socializing with strangers.
Hell, I am too. I’d take tromping through the woods over chitchatting with randos any day.
So this December, when other families are waiting in line to meet the fat man in the red suit, look for us under a canopy of Doug firs. We’ll be on the lookout for yetis. I’ll let you know if we find any.