It was probably a raccoon. A huge, lethargic raccoon.

Camping alone in a remote meadow under a full moon is cool until you realize no one knows where you are and you don't know what sounds bears make.

You're camping in your own private Idaho. I mean, Tennessee.

2:00am: An indistinct and unfamiliar lowing sound comes from somewhere beyond the woods. Animals are calling to each other.

2:01am: [Eyes snap open]

2:03am: [Inserts earbuds into iPhone and Googles "sounds bears make"]

2:06am: [Determines satisfactorily that the deep lowing sounds are not manufactured by bears]

2:07am: [Decides cows are nocturnal and these are weird moo's coming from the neighboring farm, despite being fairly certain the farm is in the opposite direction. Refuses to look into matter further for sanity's sake.]

2:45am: An indistinct trundling sound comes from the woods 15 feet south of my head: twigs snapping, leaves rustling, nails scratching rock, etc.

2:46am: [Eyes snap open]

2:48am - ?: [Kills time fantasizing about picking up a roadside foundling puppy and establishing a profound and immediate bond intensified by our constant solitude and the inevitably temporary nature of our cross-country relationship]

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© 2018 Rachel Trignano