Home > Missionary Life, Wildlife > Missing Toddlers and Big Cats

Missing Toddlers and Big Cats

I always felt the village was generally a safe place to raise our children—as long as they stayed in the village. There was that one day when our twins were toddlers that I feared the worst.

The twins were playing happily in the puddles near the front of the house. I could hear their chatter as I headed for the bathroom. I was only gone for a few minutes….

When I came out I realized the chatter was gone. I glanced out the windows and there were no twins in sight. I wasn’t panicking—at least not yet. I headed for the door to go see if they had disappeared to Gramma and Grampa’s place a few doors down—but Gramma was walking in our front door!

“The twins aren’t at your house?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

They wouldn’t have gone to river, I told myself as I dashed out the door in the direction of the river. It was a ten minute walk to the port, but I had to be sure they weren’t there. Others were searching close to the house.

Reaching the port in record time I found women washing their laundry—but no twins. No one had seen nor heard them.

I was on my way back to the house when a young Maquiritare girl met me with news that the twins had been found. They were found walking along a jungle trail between the slash and burn gardens holding hands, maybe to give them courage?

The jungle wasn’t in the same category in my mind as the village. The jungle was not on my safe list. It was a place where cougars could roam. It was a place where snakes could strike. It was a place I did not want my toddler twins to be.

Reaching the house to find the twins safe, motherly fear surfaced in these words, “Don’t you know a “big kitty” (their name for a cougar) could have ate you!” Maybe not the best in wording, but they never wandered off again!

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Categories: Missionary Life, Wildlife
  1. February 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    >We lost Jewel one day…scariest thing ever! When the kids were little ,people would ask them if they lived ‘in the jungle’. The kids always said ‘NO”. which caused confusion. In their mind we lived in the ‘village’ and the ‘jungle’ was a dangerous place one did not go into alone

  2. February 24, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    >Understand completely. The twins didn’t live in the jungle either–in their minds. The jungle was where they weren’t supposed to go!

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