Night four at our campsite:
Hubs and I spent the evening watching a crowd of new campers arrive.
For the previous three nights, we’d had the Chisos Basin campground (at Texas’ Big Bend National Park) pretty much to ourselves.
Now, it seemed, many people had decided to spend a long weekend at the park.
We wondered aloud whether the camp host had warned the new arrivals about the Skunk Invasion.
“Now this ought to be interesting,” Hubs mused as a carload of giggling 20-something women pulled in to the site next to us.
The happy-go-lucky quartet threw up a tent, then drove off again, presumably for dinner somewhere.
A few hours later, darkness fell.
“Any minute and Maxwell will be here,” I told Hubs. “Maybe tonight we can get a better photo of him.”
But my faithful nighttime visitor never appeared.
“Is it weird that I feel sort of … slighted?” I asked Hubs, who practically fell out of his camp chair laughing.
“Let me get this straight: First, the skunks are ‘scary.’ Then, after one sees you naked, they’re ‘intrusive.’ And now, you’ve not only named a skunk, but you’re actually disappointed that he’s not scavenging here tonight?”
I nodded sheepishly.
“I guess I just got sort of used to him. Seems strange not to see him poking his nose into our tent or sniffing around the bear box,” I explained.
Hubs gestured at the newly filled campsites.
“Look at all the virgin campers here tonight. Maxwell has a whole new array of dining options.”
“I guess,” I sniffed.
Thirty minutes later, we turned in, with nary a sign of Maxwell.
Which is when we heard a piercing scream. Then shrieks. And then the sort of hysterical laughter that erupts when one is confronted with a situation so dire, the only solution is to make light of it.
More shrieking, followed by several beep-beeps from the women’s car.
“I think they’re back from dinner,” I said, giggling.
“I think something was waiting for them,” Hubs added.
He opened our tent window wider so that we could hear better.
A rumble of guys’ voices soon joined the screaming and shrilly laughter.
“Did you leave food in your tent?” we heard a male voice inquire.
“It won’t leave!” a woman answered, not exactly answering the question.
“Guess the camp host didn’t tell them about the skunks’ ability to open tents,” Hubs whispered.
“Oh, Maxwell,” I said. “What a naughty boy.”
And then I snickered myself to sleep.
Tomorrow: A break from my vacation tales so that I can share my daughter’s very first concert experience. Then it’s back to west Texas, where we next encounter scorpions. Want to go camping with us sometime?