Perhaps the night after the infamous Scout Hike, or perhaps just another time when the boy scouts were visiting the cottage, Tom decided to sleep by himself in his pup tent. It was an old canvas version, no fancy mesh windows. The bugs were bad that day and Tom, despite wanting to spend the night in his tent, did not like the idea of being eaten alive during the night.
He came up with a brilliant solution.
Shortly before bed-time he took a can of bug spray and filled the inside of his tent with a cloud of insect repellent. He saturated the walls and sprayed himself for good measure. After a few minutes, he crawled inside.
He lay there for a while, completely at peace. He heard no whine of a mosquito near his ear. There was no tickle of tiny insect legs to disturb his slumber. He closed his eyes; and then the world began to spin.
He opened his eyes and discovered that the world was still spinning. He felt dizzy, and a bit nauseous. He blinked a few times, shook his head a bit to try to clear his vision, but nothing was working.
Finally he rolled out of his sleeping bag and crawled forward. He opened the tent flap and tumbled out into the cool fresh air. He breathed deeply once, and then again. He started to feel better. He sat for a while under the stars just breathing.
Once he realized that he wasn’t going to die, he looked at his tent for a long minute. He stood on shaky legs and walked inside. He decided to let his tent air out for the night, perhaps he could try again tomorrow.