A Warning at Night

A man hiked alone into the mountains for a backpacking trip and pitched his single-man tent that evening in a stand of fir. At ease in the peaceful surroundings of the heights and weary from his hike, he fell deep into sleep. Twilight turned into night.

He awoke suddenly as a glaring light filled his tent and a shout filled his ears. “Hey there, camper!” came a shout.

“What’s going on? What do you think you’re doing?” the backpacker yelled back, holding up a hand to shade his eyes. “You woke me up!”

“With good reason,” said a woman’s voice. “I’m a forest ranger, and I’m here to warn you that a windstorm is kicking up all along this canyon. A pretty bad one. A few trees have already blown over. Those fir around you don’t all look real solid. You may want to relocate.”

“No, thank you, I’m fine,” the backpacker said.

“I strongly urge you to relocate,” the ranger said in a much firmer tone.

The backpacker lay back down. “You’re blinding me with that light, and you interrupted a good sleep. Please go away.” She started to speak again, so he repeated, “Go away.”

The light beam swung a different direction and faded along with the ranger’s footsteps. The backpacker curled up in his sleeping bag again and drifted back into slumber.

Moments later, the wind began to blow.

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

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