Think you need to travel to exotic, faraway lands for animal adventures? Think again.
You can have all the fun and excitement of an up-close encounter just minutes from your very own home. Here's how: Just strap on a pair of your favorite running shoes and walk out the back door. Make sure that it's twilight so that both humans and animals have a false sense of security. Start walking. It's preferable to head for a neighborhood with large stands of old trees with low hanging branches to maximize the experience. Finding just the right place will enable nature to come straight to you with no annoying middleman.
Once you've found the perfect spot, keep moving but look up to admire the dozens of bats flying about gobbling up all those pesky insects. Before you know it, you'll have all your very own bat fluttering around against the decal on your tee shirt (and we do suggest a tee shirt rather than workout top -- what with the bat pee and all).
Try to refrain from yelling, "Jesus Christ! That's a bat!" as there are children present. Running three blocks at a flat-out sprint is acceptable.
Later, we've added a special bonus encounter.
If you see a raccoon arching its back at you, make sure to make a motion toward it accompanied by some sort of vocalization. When the raccoon charges you -- and our hand-fed neighborhood raccoons will charge you -- see if you can outrun it.
Bonus points if you don't drop your keys or the pepper spray that you forgot you had with you.