Larkin Dawson was having a nice calm Easter Sunday with his family in the picnic area of Sonoma Valley Regional Park. Then he began walking home, alone, taking the asphalt path through the woods to his Glen Ellen home. And that’s when he got an inkling he was being followed.
“I heard a snap, I looked over and I thought I saw a tail, I wasn’t quite sure,” the 13-year-old said.
He continued walking, senses heightened. About five minutes later, he saw it: a big cat, not too close, looking down at him from a nearby ridge. He kept on moving, and the cat moved with him.
“It was walking parallel for probably about five minutes,” the teenager recalled. “And then it started cutting closer and closer.”
Dawson realized that it was headed for an outcropping of bushes along the trail that would make a perfect spot for an ambush. So he chose not to go there, instead shouting and waving his arms in order to “look as big as you can get.”