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CSI: Suburban Denver

Ryley (age 7) approached me one recent evening as I reclined on the couch. The look on his face told me he had Big News: “Mom, I have something very important to tell you.”


“There is a mountain lion at school.”

“There is? How do you know?” I was taken aback, expecting his important news to feature something scandalous one of his siblings just did, like shamelessly eating his blueberry yogurt while using my wedding gown for a picnic blanket.

“We saw a dead cat on the playground today. Everyone saw it.”

“Ohhh…that’s too bad. Did someone tell a teacher?”

“Yes, and then Mr. S picked it up with a shovel and put it in a bag. It was killed by a mountain lion.”

“How do you know?”

“Well me and “K” and “M” went on the field and saw wild animal diarrhea.”

“Wild animal diarrhea?”

“Yes! So we knew the cat was killed by a mountain lion who had diarrhea on the field.” He added several other key pieces of evidence that made their case airtight, including “hairs” and “big paw prints.”

As I absorbed this unfortunate information, Sam joined the conversation.

“It’s true!” Sam shouted, “I saw the mountain lion! Well, I saw the tail, across the street by the lake.”

I decided I should assure them that while mountain lions do live in Colorado, relatively nearby, they had nothing to worry about. There was an easy way to spot the offender: stake out Walgreens for mountain lions buying Pepto Bismol.

Okay, I didn’t say that last part out loud.

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