The Tent Instructions

She scouted the campsite.

He did the same.

She pointed to a flat clear square of land.

He laid their claim.

She started unpacking the car.

He started setting up the tent.

She stayed out of the way and continued to unpack.

He cleared the site then unrolled the tent and pounded the stakes.

She called out when he missed the head of a long corner stake and hammered his hand, “Are you alright?”

He nodded and waved, then assembled the poles and threaded the loops, until he was ready to raise the tent.

She read the instructions, “I could help.”

He smiled, “I promised to setup the tent, no need to help.”

She watched and waited and rolled her eyes.

He sat down for a moment to check his progress, “The sun will set before we can enter this tent.”

She was holding the instructions, “I found a warning right here on page nine, two or more people should help at the corners when raising the dome of the tent.”

He looked at her, “But I only have you.”

She frowned, “But I should be all you need.”

He smiled, “I need the instructions.”

She looked around, “And my help? The tent is still flat on the ground.”

He returned to working on the tent, “I could use some help, please.”

She laughed, “So polite.”

© J. Bateman

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