While standing in the shadowed nook of the front porch, I heard rustling in the wild plum bushes at the end of the house, thirty feet away. I stepped out to where I could get a better view, thinking there might be deer. So as not to startle them, I didn't turn on my flashlight. When the deer browse in those bushes, once they are done they often leave by crossing the lawn, and this night's bright moonlight would offer me a decent view of them. As I left the shadow, the rustling stopped. Suddenly, I heard a low growl from the darkness. It was a most un-deer-like sound. I stood still, slowly raising the flashlight but not turning it on. There was another growl, deep and menacing. Before I could engage the light, there was more rustling as whatever creature had expressed its threatening disapproval of my presence went back through the dense brush and into the neighboring yard. I shone the beam of my light after it, but could see nothing, nor could I hear any sound of retreating footsteps. Somebody has soft paws. A large dog? A particularly aggressive raccoon? A wildcat? Though my light searched every visible part of the landscape, I saw nothing, not even a reflection from a pair of watching eyes, and there were no more growls. I suppose I'll never find out what it was. I'm not sure I'd want to know.