by Barbara A. Naylor
Rhode Island, USA
One dark, November Sunday, just before dawn, my daughter, then 17, was awakened by the sounds of a truck in the driveway, followed by a frantic knocking at the front door. Two hunters, passing by on their way to search for deer, noticed the property beside our home was on fire. My daughter shouted to me, “Mom, the woods are on fire!” Struggling awake, I dialed 911.
The two gentlemen asked for garden hoses, and my daughter was yelling “Mom, where are the hoses?” Having not yet looked outside, I shouted back my reply: “In the shed.” Her nearly hysterical reply came: “Mom …the shed is GONE!”
In the calmest manner, the hunters asked my daughter for the keys to the two cars, which were parked against the flaming pile which had been our tool and garden shed. While I called to alert the neighbors whose property was adjacent to ours, the hunters moved the vehicles to safety. One of the cars had been backed into its space, with the gas tank a mere foot from the flames. The rear bumper already melted from the heat.
Our volunteer firefighters arrived shortly and extinguished the fire, which had burned down not only the shed but a good deal of the wooded property between the driveway and our house. Had we not been awakened by the passing hunters, certainly the cars would have been destroyed. The risk of the spreading flames and an exploding gas tank could have meant the loss of our home, or worse, our lives.
The two hunters went on their way at the sound of approaching sirens, knowing that we were safe. We have never learned their identity. In the past, I may have expressed displeasure at the presence of deer hunters on my street. That is no longer the case. Since that November morning, I have taken comfort that there are such Good Samaritans watching our woodlands while we sleep.
Available in The Best of HeroicStories, Volume 1.