Psh psh psh.
The dogs jump up and bark. At my command they sit and listen as I sit up from the cot and strain my ears. The soft but distinct noise was paced like footsteps, nearby. I zip open the tent window and look. Carlos looks. Dwyn peers through another screened window. Nothing. Then I see it:
A two-inch in diameter spider poised just above (and inside) the window I opened. I sigh. A spider that big could make a ‘psh’ noise moving on a loose flap of nylon window cover.
I let the dogs out and sit back down on the edge of the cot just in time to grab a tissue and crush a tiny spider running across the sheet inches from my thighs.
Looking at the larger eight-legged roommate, which is frozen in place, I ponder how to catch it against the soft tent wall, preferably without squishing its guts all over.
I jump and gasp as a black ant appears inches from my face. It’s falling from the tent ceiling.
Now I’m mad. For the last 18 hours I’ve been trying not to scratch red welts left from yesterday’s ant bites: Toes, leg, chest. I crush the nasty thing under a shoe, which I then put on. As I prepare to go out into the morning I crush four more solo exploring ants. And I pick up a thin hand towel, strike, fold four corners around the big spider, and with relief that it apparently did not escape my trap, I throw the balled towel several feet out the tent door.
P.S. Yesterday I heard the snake before I saw it. No, not a rattle. It was the sound of “critter on tent nylon” again: I looked just in time to see the back half of a salmon-colored snake slither (with several sideways flourishes) under the sleep tent. I secured the dogs and let the snake be. Just another day of tent living.