The Gloves That Saved My Life

by Jane Davis

I should have known better when I bought the rich, decadent banana cream pie that it would not last sitting in my truck.

When I returned home hours later I thought, “Nahhhh.  It’s not good!” But the pull was too strong.  And so, I ate it.  

It wasn’t too long after that an old familiar wave of food poisoning took over.  I’ve been here before.

I made it to the bathroom where I hugged the toilet and, trying to stay positive, noted the comfortable fit of my body between the cabinet and the toilet.  I just fit in.

And so the cleansing began.

Over and over and over again.

Thinking I was finished, I went and curled into bed.  I believe I slept a little bit.  I was awakened by that pull…. GET UP!

Knowing I would not make it to the bathroom I quickly leapt up and out the door to the coyote fenced yard where I proceeded to expel whatever might have been left inside of me.  The sun beat down on my naked body.  All of a sudden I heard the door slam behind me.

“No,” I thought. “No.”

I turned around praying that my worst nightmare had not just happened and much to my horror, it had.

The door was locked.

“Oh my G-d” I thought and went numb.  “Oh my G-d.”

I was locked out of my rust colored stuccoed house, which was situated on thirty acres, off the grid, surrounded by a coyote fence that had two gates both of which were locked from the outside.

I realistically and emotionally surveyed the situation.  At this point I couldn’t even imagine the possibilities besides screaming for help.  So the screams, which were simply a loud, “HELP” began.

“HE-e-e-e-e-elp ME!!! Repeated over and over.


‘What if my neighbors are away for the weekend?  Who is going to hear me?’

I just kept thinking, “OMG!”

I picked up a rock and threw it as hard as I could into the window figuring I’ll smash it and pick up the pieces of glass and climb in.

I threw it over and over again.  Nothing.

I was beginning to get goat heads stuck in the bottom of my bare feet.

I went and sat in the dirt leaning against the warmth of the stucco on my back.

“What am I going to do?!”

Hogan, a 40-pound Husky mix with icicle blue eyes, and Magic, a 20 pound black and white Heeler mix, came out of the doggy door.  I was grateful that they could, at least come in and out.

“Open the door!” I yelled playfully at them hoping for some miracle!

There were pieces of wood for the fireplace in the yard so I spelled out “HELP ME” with the wood hoping one of the infrequent planes flying overhead would see it like I have seen in the movies.  

Each time I heard a plane I would jump up waving my arms.

I was feeling hopeless.  I managed to reach my arm in through the doggy door and pulled out a bottle of water that had about two inches in it.  My mouth was parched and I was so thirsty.  I took a sip, swirled it around and spit it back.  I knew I could not swallow it.  It had to last.  “For how long, “ I wondered?

I figured I had four days.  Not sure where I got that from but it was what my intuition told me.

I also pulled out an empty soda can.  I knew from my camping days that we could drink our pee and it was not toxic.  So, just in case, I began peeing in the can, hoping I would not have to resort to that beverage.

As day turned to night and the sun set it became colder and colder.  I began shivering and praying.  “Stay positive, Jane” I told myself.

Looking at the night sky I was reminded of how beautiful it is and tried to stay focused on that.

Somehow I managed to sleep on and off.

The welcome sunrise brought warmth to help my chilled everything.

My phone rang twice.  I couldn’t find it.

“Surely someone is missing me!” I thought.  

Unbeknownst to me, my father, in Rhode Island, had had a heart attack.  One of my sisters was just beginning to think something was wrong.

I sat up wondering what to do.   I decided to try climbing up the fence and jumping over.  As I climbed I pretended I was on American Ninja Warrior.  Each time I felt like I was falling back down I would muster every ounce in my being and pull just a little bit more.  I realized this was not going to work, as I would really hurt myself if I fell over the fence.

I went back to my thinking place.  

“OMG I’m going to die here!!”

There was a calmness that had come over me.  An acceptance of the end.  A reflection.  

“What a great life I have had! What will it be like to die this way? Why isn’t anyone coming to check on me?”  

I had also managed to get my LL Bean clock off of my night table on one of my “arm thru the doggy door” forages.  So I was watching the time slowly creep by.  I was dreading another night yet trying not to project.

One more try to find my phone I put my arm thru the doggy door to forage.  This time I felt a bag and brought out a canvas bag.  Ironically, it was the one I got on my road trip through Death Valley.

In it were my friend’s leather work gloves that she had left in my truck.

“What can I do with these? How can they help me?”

I put them on thinking magical thoughts and then it hit me. I got my answer!

I leaped up and went to the gate.  Coyote fences are strung very tightly with steel threads.  My bare hands could not unravel them.  But with the gloves I felt like I could do anything.

“YES!!!” I thought as I began to push on the thread and follow it, unwinding it slowly.

And there it was, after thirty hours of being locked in, my escape plan was working.

I took out four posts, climbed out of my cell and praised the gloves that saved my life.


Jane Davis, LMSW, is the founder of Riders of the Sage-NM and does Equine Assisted Therapy with her horse Snickers in Santa Fe, NM. She also, as a health and wellness coach, uses eseential oils for healing.

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