What about Jenny?
It was dark and cold. The wind howled through the trees as the fabric of the tent fluttered and popped. I was alone and knew that Jenny was also alone in her tent not 100 feet away. I couldn’t sleep. Too much danger. Too much… alone.
I slid back into my sleeping bag and felt my body heat start to generate warmth against the loosely quilted goose down.
I was glad now that I had brought the roll of foil bubble wrap and flattened it under the sleeping bag. I relaxed onto my side with my back toward the nylon. I felt something pushing against my shoulder. It bumped against me over and over. I slowly pulled my hand from the sleeping bag and pushed against the nylon tent. IT PUSHED BACK… AGAINST MY HAND… SHIT!
I jumped back and watched it push into the side of the tent. I hit it with the open palm of my hand. I heard scuffling outside… and then… just the sound of the fluttering tent. I pulled the sleeping bag up to my neck. The warmth felt good, in fact, there was sweat on my forehead. I dared not close my eyes as I continued staring at the side of the tent for the next attack. A bear? Yes, a bear. They have been seen in these mountains. What of Jenny? The bear could have taken her? With the sounds of the tent and the wind, I may not have even heard her scream?
I crawled from the sleeping bag, toward the zippered door. A sudden strong gust blew the side of the tent against me. I pushed my hands against the side to keep it from tearing from the ground. IT PUSHED AGAINST MY HAND! I pounded against it with my fist! IT PUSHED BACK OVER AND OVER! As I changed hands it bumped the other. Once, I hit its teeth with my knuckle. Then it went away.
I sat and waited listening for sounds of movement outside. Only the wind… and the fluttering of the tent. I was shaking. Partially from the freezing cold… and maybe the thought of becoming a bears snack. I slowly reached across and found the tab of the door zipper in the darkness. I had to know what was out there, and if Jenny’s tent was still standing. I slowly slid it up about six inches… ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz!
A black nose and white teeth squeezed through the tiny opening. “AAAAaahhh! I jumped against the back of the tent almost taking it down. The head raised quickly as the zipper continued to open. A large German Shepherd leapt across the tent and laid on my sleeping bag. It wagged its tail as if asking to stay. After I caught my breath, I pulled the zipper back down, and focused the battery lamp on the dog. It laid its head down and looked up at me as if showing submission.
“You’ll have to sleep at the bottom! Move over!” I climbed back into the sleeping bag and rested my hand on the big dog. At various times through the night, she licked my hand.
In the morning I made instant oats on my small alcohol burner, and shared dried beef with the dog in the warmth of the tent. I packed everything into my back pack and went outside to drop the tent. It had snowed last night after I went to sleep, and the mountain was silent in an odd sort of way. As I walked down the mountain the dog stayed right behind me. The only sounds was the crunching of the snow, an occasional snap of a stick, and the heavy breathing of the dog.
We got down the mountain to where we were seeing green again and the snow had turned to mud and weeds. We stopped to rest on a fallen tree, and again shared my dried beef. She watched my facial expressions as she wagged her tail.
#dog #bear #Snow #Mountain #Camping #Survival #Storm #Backpack #ShortStory #Fear