My niece has a rather different outlook on Montana. She lives north of Portland, Oregon and has never ventured this far east. To a 7 year old it is a rather exotic place. Apparently it is is also a bit scary. It never dawned on me how she envisioned it until my sister filled me in.
--She doesn't call it Montana. When my mother and I were in a car accident last year she got very upset that we would not survive the fender-bender and she would never get to visit "Aunt Nikki's World".
--Her views of this area of the country have been painted with a vivid imagination. She told my sister that vampires come out of "Aunt Nikki's World." When she was questioned her logic made sense.
1. We have icicles. Big ones. Ones so big that she thinks they look like vampire teeth hanging off the roof. I have sent her pictures of them and she is fascinated by them. She wants to visit in the winter so she can see them and hopefully lick one (yuck!). Although she did say she wouldn't look up since they could fall into your eye.
2. We have ghost trees here. She has taken this idea from a children's book I gave her about "Snow Ghosts." It is really just a nickname for awesome looking snow covered trees in the mountains. They can resemble people and a forested area of them is a bit ominous. She forgets the "snow" part and so we have "ghost trees." I can't imagine what she thinks it is like at midnight on Halloween here with a full moon.
3. Grizzly bears. Yes there are bears here but they typically don't come into town. At least not very often. We do have enough bear spray for each member of the family when we go to the woods, camping and picking huckleberries. This area does have grizzly bears and I am sure it is scary when you are seven. However, going to city and being surrounded by sketchy people in the ghetto is much more scarier to me.
4. Cowboys and Indians. What else do you see on tv when they talk about Montana on the history channel? That must be very prominent in her mind.
5. I sent her pictures of spider webs that were covered in ice. She must think that we have cold loving spiders that can live in arctic conditions. Not only do they weave webs on the porch but they weave webs of snow and ice. Kind of a hybrid between a spider and yeti. That is creepy.
6. Weird drunk people break into your house, barf all over your bathroom and take showers while you are asleep. Ok, that only happened to us once but it is was a very memorable happening. It is not often that you get up to find a naked women showering in your bathroom. We have since began to lock the door at night.