Leopards and Panthers and Biopsies, Oh My!!! (Update: No Cancer, YAY!!)


EEEK!! This picture of a camouflaged leopard (hiding in the tall brown grass on the right side of the tree) gave me a flashback!

The year was 1973. One lovely spring day, I took my 2 year old son for a walk along the isolated gravel road we lived on. Our home was in southern Missouri at the time, in the Ozark Hills. Thick forests surrounded us on every side. The nearest neighbor lived about a mile away.

A small stream ran down the hill below the road. Thinking that he might enjoy playing near the water, I led my son through the trees to the bank of a shallow stream. As he was happily throwing rocks into the creek, I looked up — and there was a large panther, standing motionless on the other side of the narrow brook. The stealthy animal was almost close enough for me to reach out and touch, staring at us with eyes just like the leopard’s in this picture!

I was 20 years old then, and very naive in many ways. I did not know anything about panthers. But it was like a combination of protective mama bear and survival instincts took over. I tend to believe it was God…

Two thoughts immediately came to my mind: “Don’t feel any fear — animals sense fear and it triggers them to attack,” and “Don’t make any fast or sudden moves.”

In that moment, my emotions were completely shut down. I felt no fear, no feelings whatsoever. Without taking my eyes off the panther, I very slowly bent forward, picked up my little boy, and slowly lifted him over my head and sat him on my shoulders. Then I slowly, quietly, carefully, turned and walked away… slowly, slowly, slowly, one cautious step in front of another. I still felt no emotions at all.

I walked the 50 feet or more through the woods to the gravel road. Then, still moving just as slowly, with my son still riding on my shoulders, I walked the approximately 1/4 mile up a winding hilly curve to our house… I slowly crossed the wide front yard…. slowly climbed the steps… opened the door, walked in, shut and locked the door behind me, put my son down…. and collapsed on the floor.

I still don’t know how an “expert” would advise handling a situation like that. I have no idea if the typical panther would just stand there, moving nothing but a long twitching tail, if you were to take the same course of action. I only know what happened in my case.

Later that day, when I told someone what had happened, he thought I was crazy. “There ain’t no panthers around these parts,” he sneered. But a few days days later, a neighboring farmer who kept a herd of cattle in a field along the creek where I had seen the panther, found the remains of a calf that had been eaten by some kind of wild beast — with big cat tracks in the mud around the carcass.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving my son and me!

This afternoon I am going to see a surgeon and learn the results of a biopsy he took during a colonoscopy over a month ago. He is also going to assess an inflamed growth under my right arm that my general practitioner wants him to remove and biopsy.

I don’t wanna do this!! But I know that we are all going to leave this life, someday, in some fashion. Meanwhile, I hope I can use this trial to grow a little more spiritually.

Remembering things like my long-ago panther encounter, strengthens my faith. I do believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and my Lord. As long as I am walking step by step with Him, seeking His will above all else in my life, I believe that I cannot die… not until my time has come. And then, WOW — what a glorious reunion with loved ones that will be!!!!!

God bless you, and thank you so much for stopping by. Here is a link to the terrific blog where I found this leopard picture. (I love bluebird and her blog.)



24 thoughts on “Leopards and Panthers and Biopsies, Oh My!!! (Update: No Cancer, YAY!!)

  1. atimetoshare.me June 21, 2017 / 10:14 am

    Linda I’m praying for good results on your tests. You are a survivor. I’ve seen it in almost every post you’ve written. The truth is that even the toughest of us are going to travel through the valley of the shadow of death at some point or another. I pray that God continues to strengthen you through yet another trial. May He be your sure defense in all adversity. Prayers and hugs coming your way ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carrie Rubin June 21, 2017 / 12:23 pm

    Very scary about the panther. Yikes. Not fun about the colonoscopy either. Hope your appointment goes okay. Sending positive thoughts your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynda Lee/@LadyQuixote June 22, 2017 / 8:08 am

      Thank you so much, Carrie! The biopsy was benign, just an area of inflammation, yay! Now I am scheduled to have an inflamed cyst removed on July 10. Oh the joys of getting older. But at least I don’t have the big C again!!


  3. lynettedavis June 21, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    Oh my goodness! It took me like three minutes to spot the leopard, even though you pointed him out. I would be easy prey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nyssa The Hobbit June 21, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    Wow, I saw a panther up close once–in a cage at the zoo. This was in a building behind the exhibits, where we were doing service hours, so I was just a few yards away, and he was big and hungry. That was scary enough! I guess your mother-instincts took over.

    I hope things go well with the biopsy. πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    • Object of Contempt June 22, 2017 / 1:12 pm

      FYI It’s a very old Smothers Brothers skit.

      Also, I emailed you. About a week ago.

      Benign… yeah!! Almost makes the wound hurt less, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynda Lee/@LadyQuixote June 22, 2017 / 9:26 pm

        It sure does! Thank you for telling me about the email, I will look for it. I am very, very bad about keeping up with my email. Sigh.


  5. patrickhawthorne01 June 22, 2017 / 5:14 pm

    I stand with you and speak total healing over your body… You shall live and not die, in the name of Jesus. Besides, you are too cranky-tankerous to depart this earth at such a young age. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bethanyk June 24, 2017 / 9:49 pm

    I felt like I was right there with you. God was definitely leading you.
    I also cannot wait to reunite with my loved ones when the day comes. I also can’t wait to hug Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynda Lee/@LadyQuixote June 25, 2017 / 6:25 am

      Oh! Thank you for the compliment, saying that you felt like you were right there with me means a lot, coming from a naturally gifted writer like you!

      Since I wrote this, I have researched panthers online — something I could never have dreamed of doing in 1973, when this happened. I have learned that what I saw was actually a mountain lion, although “panther” was the typical colloquial word that was used for “a really big cat” in the Ozarks mountains, when I was growing up.

      I also discovered in my online research, that my instinctual way of handling my mountain lion encounter 44 years ago, was exactly right! Apparently, if I had not looked right at the lion, if I had stood stock still and averted my gaze, that action would have told the “panther” that I was weak, which is much more likely to provoke an attack. But if I had grabbed my son and run, that action would definitely have provoked the “chase and kill” instinct. The advice I found was to boldly look at the mountain lion, as I did, and make yourself look bigger, if you can…

      Wow, Bethany! By picking my son up and setting him on my shoulders, which I did because I wanted to get him as far away from the animal as possible, and also leave my hands free to fight it, if necessary — I made myself LOOK BIGGER! I don’t remember ever carrying any of my 3 children up on my shoulders like that. But I did it that day, when somehow my very limited knowledge was enhanced by an almost supernatural mother’s protective instinct! Thank You, Lord Jesus!

      I also learned in my brief research that mountain lions rarely kill humans, but when they do, it is usually a small child. That cat was just inches away from my 2 year old son. Oh!! I can’t even think about it. Today my oldest son is the manager of 2 motels in the San Francisco area. He has a daughter in nursing school, and a 3 year old grandson. None of this would be, if….!!


      • Nyssa The Hobbit June 25, 2017 / 11:46 am

        We may seem far removed from animal instinct, yet it still pops up when we need it. Also, if that’s what you mean by “panther,” I was up close to a black panther, not a mountain lion. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lynda Lee/@LadyQuixote June 26, 2017 / 3:56 am

          Yes, I have also seen a panther in the zoo. The size and shape looked just the same as the panther, or mountain lion, that I saw in the wild, only the color was different. The animal I saw in the wild had a dark brown coat, but the zoo critter was black. I saw the zoo panther a few years after my encounter with the wild animal and I just assumed that panthers, like domestic cats, come in different colors. But according to what I’ve read online, my assumption was wrong.

          One big difference that struck me between the zoo panther and the beast in the wild was that the wild cat looked very muscular and fit, but the caged panther looked flabby. It may have been an old panther. Either that, or it didn’t get a chance to work out in the zoo. πŸ™‚

          I’ve actually had one other encounter in the wild with a cougar or mountain lion, but that incident wasn’t nearly as scary as the one I wrote about here. It happened in 2004 or 2005. We lived near Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the time, about a quarter of a mile from the Rio Grande. I often walked our sweet old Otterhound on a trail that runs through the forest along the Rio Grande. One day I saw a big reddish brown cat walk up onto the trail from the river. As soon as it saw me and my 120 lb dog, it took off into the woods.

          I love going on nature hikes. But it’s not always as simple as taking a walk in the park.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Nyssa The Hobbit June 26, 2017 / 10:29 am

            Makes me glad to do my nature hikes around a small city in Wisconsin. We get wildlife, but most of it isn’t scary! πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Alexis Rose July 1, 2017 / 5:02 am

    Im a few days late reading this…praying that all turned out well at the doc’s visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynda Lee/@LadyQuixote July 3, 2017 / 11:22 pm

      Thank you! Yes, the biopsy was not cancer, just inflammation only. I have another minor surgery scheduled now for July 10, to remove and biopsy a cyst that got very large and inflamed a few days after the colonoscopy. The cyst is under my arm. I am not nearly as worried about this one, although I am not looking forward to general anesthesia again so soon! Oh well, such is life. I am very grateful that I have insurance and a surgeon I feel I can trust.

      I’m glad you stopped by, Alexis. You are a great inspiration to me. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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