It is 1230 in the morning and I’ve been sleeping in the woods, poorly. I’m doing a division assignment on a type 3 fire as a qualified taskforce leader and can’t stop thinking about tomorrow’s shift. Tomorrow’s shift is pretty straightforward, but performing as a division is new to me and today was challenging at times. But it is annoying to miss out on sleep from thinking about the next day. 

Anyway, I was beginning to drift off around midnight, for real finally, I think. Then I heard some rustling in the leaves and a sort of bark/growl/roar maybe 30 feet from me. Some sort of small and furious animal was running amok and headed my way. 

I stayed quiet. Most of the time animals leave people alone. Not this little fucker though. I don’t know what this thing was, but it came roaring up the old ditch I’m trying to sleep in, ran onto my sleeping bag and got up close to my ribs before I sat up and slapped the shit out of it with my rolled up sweatshirt I use for a pillow. 

The beast squealed. I had trapped it under my sweatshirt. I briefly contemplated punching it in the face but what if it was a little skunk? A trapped and punched skunk could completely ruin my night. So I let it go and it ran off into the night. I’m camping by myself tonight, because the rest of the crew went home, but I still said aloud the only logical thing one could say after being savaged by a random 5-10 pound creature: “What the fuck was that?” 

By the time I was able to turn on my headlamp the critter was long gone. This entire incident lasted roughly seven seconds. Hopefully the adrenaline will wear off soon and I can go to sleep. Fatigue can make a straightforward assignment more challenging. 

That is all.

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