I somehow was proud of my own nervous system not succumbing. At the same time I watched them closely. They seemed to have turned into soft clay, enlarging, dwindling, bulging, thinning, and lengthening. In the meantime, the shepherd boy behaved differently: he could no longer shut his mouth; he kept gaping. He no longer could move. When, someone asked him to fetch something, the boy tried in vain to move his limbs; then his torso gently toppled like a knocked vase, and went into deep sleep. All enviably enjoyed watching him drifted into his trance.
The night dragged into midnight and beyond. The portable gas light gradually dimmed. The glowing charcoals, due to darkness, shed more light. All my school friends simply fell back and went to deep sleep. I had my feather sleeping bag and decided to slip in, but a severe headache prevented any sleep.
It was much beyond midnight, when I decided to have some fresh air. No sooner had I stepped outside than I saw several light reflectors, just like, night vision goggles, emitting from the eyes of the beasts of wilderness. Horrified, I bounced back. I examined the tent entrance but could see no zipper; perhaps it was folded back by a rope. While retreating, I treaded on men lying down, but they were too numb to move or protest. Seeing them in that condition, I was terrified. All I did was grab the double barrel Winchester shotgun leaning against the tent wall. I returned to tent entrance and examined the phosphorous lights: no change! However, I sensed that they were moving toward me. Raising the shotgun, I aimed at the larger eyes and pulled the triggers. Bang! Bang!
Now the sleeping people sluggishly rose to their feet and shouted some enquiries. When they saw me with the shotgun, they all rushed out. Then I heard one of them abusing me, "What did you do, moron?" I replied, "We were surrounded by the beasts of the mountain. You were all sleep. What could I do? Wait to be torn up? "
Someone said, "They were not beasts of the mountain, silly-billy. You, featherbrain, killed the man's precious sheepdog."
I defensively replied, "We were surrounded by them."
"No, dammit. We were protected; besides, they're passive smokers, too."