Wolfe’s Woofer: Tracker

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

“What did you think of the Caracol ruins?” our tour guide, Andre, asked us.
“It was amazing!”
“Awesome!”
“Astonishing!”
The entire van load of twelve people had nothing but praise for the Mayan ruins at Caracol in western Belize. We had explored the ruins that morning. Now we were making the long trip back on the unpaved jungle road.
“Hey, look!” someone exclaimed, as a group of men carrying shotguns and rifles ran across the road in front of us.
“What was that all about?” I asked Andre.
“It looked like a group of Mayan hunters,” he said. “They appeared to be tracking some kind of animal through the bush.”
“But they didn’t have tracking dogs,” I said. “When we hunt we use tracking dogs.”
“They don’t need them,” Andre said. “These Mayans are some of the best trackers in the world.”
A few minutes later we rounded a bend in the road and came upon a Mayan. He was lying in the road with his ear pressed to the ground. He had one leg up in the air and he waved at us with one hand.
“That’s Manuel Chuc from Teakettle Village,” Andre said, as he braked the van to a halt. “Let’s see if he’ll tell us what he’s tracking.”
“Manuel, what are you tracking and what are you listening for?”
Manuel said, “About fifteen miles up the road from here there is a red 2009 Ford pickup truck with worn out shock absorbers and two bald tires on the front. There is a big dent in the door on the driver’s side and it has a lot of rust on the truck body.”
He continued, “There are four men in the back of the truck—all drinking rum. Lying next to them in the back are two dead deer and a spare truck tire.”
“That’s astonishing,” I said. “How could you possibly know all of those details about the truck?”
He said, “I just fell out of it about ten minutes ago.”

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