The wild animals of the forest

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I’m told the term “co-ed” is archaic, sexist and offensive. So I apologize to anyone who is offended. I just like to use it because it’s so short and terse and only 4-letters.

My campsite in the Berkeley hills is pretty secluded. And people rarely come up there. Especially during the late-night/early-morning hours that I occupy it. But every now and then I’ll run into somebody. Like this one unfortunate interaction I had with this young Berkeley co-ed this one time.

I woke up one morning and I noticed somebody had left these dinner plates on the ground near where I sleep. And the plates had a layer of white powder on them. I just figured somebody had had a picnic lunch there the day before and hadn’t bothered to clean up their mess. So I tossed the plates in a garbage can down the road. And didn’t think anything more about it. Until:

A couple hours later when I was approached by this UC cop, and this young Berkeley co-ed who appeared somewhat distraught.

“Did you happen to notice two dinner plates that were lying on the ground here?” asked the cop.

‘Yeah,” I said. “I thought they were litter so I tossed them in the garbage can.”

It turned out the plates were part of a science project the co-ed was doing for her science class. She was trying to determine what kind of wild animals lived in the deep, dark woods, by seeing what kind of foot-prints were left in the wild powder, and then matching the foot-prints to the particular animals. And now I had done destroyed her darn science project. So that was fucked.

I went down and retrieved her plates from the garbage can. And then packed up all my camping stuff and left, because the cop told me I couldnt camp there anymore (camped somewhere else for a couple days and then moved right back).

But I always thought the co-ed should have written that all up in her project report. Because she had indeed discovered a wild animal that was living I the woods thanks to her plates. Me.