Shortly after my divorce had become final, I decided to brave the wilds of my favorite campground and go camping alone. Being a confirmed introvert doing things alone wasn’t unusual for me nor did it make me anxious. I found time alone in nature camping renewing. So off I went with my one man tent and food enough for three days.
It was fall and I had arrived to camp mid week. The camp ground was empty except for me which was what I had hoped for. The only glitch in my plan was the itinerant couple that were camping somewhere in the woods away from the camp ground who had rambled up to my camping site asking for money. They peacefully enough went on their way and I settled back to read a book.
Nightfall came and I retired to my one man pup tent. It took some contortion to wiggle into my tent and a taller person would never have fit. Finally I settled down for a good night’s sleep.
Sometime in the middle of the night I heard noise outside my tent. I had immediate visions of being murdered by my itinerant couple for sending them away with food and not money. I should have listened to all those people telling me not to go camping alone! I grabbed my flashlight and the baseball bat I always carried with me on solitary camping trips, unzipped my tent and prepared for battle! About that time my flashlight went out and totally in the dark, I became tangled in my pup tent door and went crashing to the ground all thought of a silent stealthily counterattack dashed. Subdued but not beaten, I yelled out “I have a gun and if you know what’s good for you you’ll leave!!” I reasoned they couldn’t know I didn’t have a gun even though it was a firearm free camping area.
Convinced my ultimate demise was at hand, I managed to kick off the pup tent tangled around my legs and finally find my feet. Still in the pitch dark of a moonless night, I grappled with my traitorous flashlight trying to make it work and finally threw it in the general direction of the noise and stumbled to my unlit lamp hanging from a tree. After going through four matches, finally, I managed to light the lamp!
Triumphant, I lifted the lamp to face my attacker, baseball bat in my other hand. I would not die without a fight on my camping adventure.
There beyond my camp table waddling away and looking back with a disgusted look on his face was a skunk. He had managed to get into my food box and had scattered its contents. I could almost hear him saying as he waddled away, “Geez, if you want that food that much just keep it!”