My very first night alone in the wilderness, I pitched a tarp between two trees using rope to hold up the roof and rocks to secure it to the ground. I started a small efficient fire in a pre-existing fire ring and cooked a simple supper of rice and beans. The beans, which I hadn’t yet learned to soak, were a bit crunchy.
About this time I noticed a visitor, a rather healthy looking field mouse about twice the size of my fist skirting between the flickering shadows briefly illuminated by the fire. My inexperience did not yet include the knowledge of how to hang ones belongings from a tree or how to make a mouse hang to stave off hungry rodents. The specter of fear crept in as I saw myself waking up with bags torn open and all of my food stores scattered about and nibbled upon.
I didn’t know what else to do so I prayed as hard as I could to any God that would listen to protect my belongings from the hungry and bold rodent still flittering back and forth between the shadows. I prayed that I wouldn’t starve alone in the wilderness for the benefit of the fat mouse, and lay myself down on an inflatable pad and crept inside of my sleeping bag liner to rest (it was summertime and still quite warm), using my backpack as a pillow.
I woke early the next morning, before the sun was visible over the hills, and immediately grabbed my backpack to examine what was stolen in the night. To my great surprise, nothing was damaged.
Underneath my pack was a very healthy looking mottled brown snake, about 5 feet long and as thick as my wrist. I counted my blessings and grabbed a long stick to urge the snake on its way.
I learned on that day to never underestimate the power of prayer, and always be careful what you wish for – you just might get it.