A diligent reader of the weekly Arb Notes, Cassandra was intrigued by the recent reports of opossum and fox tracks. Recently, however, there had been rumors of a creature far more sinister, and Cassandra was determined to get to the truth. Armed with a ruler, an expert tracker’s best tool, Cassandra plunged into the depths of the Arboretum.
Remembering a conversation with a knowledgeable naturalist, Cassandra knew that the key to proper tracking was not only knowing what a print looked like: the location of the tracks could provide clues about the creature’s habits. Cassandra soon found unmistakable, gargantuan tracks in a bare area strewn with wood shavings. Since her ruler was not nearly long enough, Cassandra used her own feet to measure the size of the print as well as the stride, the distance between the heal of one print to the heal of the next. Cassandra recorded all of her observations in a notebook. Suddenly, Cassandra’s eyes alighted upon a yellow patch of snow not far from one of the prints. This would surely be implicating evidence! Some animals have very distinctive urine that can be useful in identifying ambiguous tracks. Crouched low to the ground, Cassandra determined that there was nothing very remarkable about the scent.
The evidence she had gathered thus far seemed to confirm the rumors of Bigfoot presence. There was no denying that this was almost certainly a bipedal organism with extraordinarily large feet. Nevertheless, the short stride length and unremarkable urine fueled Cassandra’s doubts that this was a faulty identification. Brow furrowed, Cassandra once more pulled out her ruler and followed the tracks back to the trail. Next to where the tracks ended was a human boot print. Cassandra guessed that this print was roughly a European size 43. With her heart aflutter, Cassandra raced to the Rec to confirm a growing suspicion. After some careful cross-checking, Cassandra breathed a sigh of relief. Helpful Rec Center staff had identified a record of Arboretum Manager Matthew Elbert checking out a pair of snowshoes in the time frame that Cassandra thought the tracks might have been made.
Cassandra was mortified that she had ever given credence to such preposterous rumors. As recompense, she promptly wrote a personal note to Matthew thanking him for the great work he had been doing in the endless battle against pernicious buckthorn.
Reports of Bigfoot presence in the Arb have been greatly exaggerated.