The campsite, adjacent to a swamp in the Mississippi Delta, seemed nice and remote. When I set the tent up I didn’t consider the possibility that afterward, as I built a fire and cooked dinner over it, I might wonder the whole time about whether there were any alligators nearby, and if so how precisely nearby they might be. Ripley ran around freely until I heard a large splash coming from the water, and considered it’d be better to keep her close. The surface of the water was otherwise still but the marsh made noises: something created a clacking sound that built in intensity before finally petering out. And then again. Ripley lives her life on a hair trigger. Leashed, she growled in the direction of whatever she heard, or saw. At one point I think she barked at her shadow.