Author Krista Tibbs

Fiction: About a Squirrel

In Light Menu, Original Fiction on November 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

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“I gotta find me some nuts!” Squirrel skittered from tree limb to trunk, to the fire pit, and onto the front porch of the cabin. “Nuts, nuts, nuts!” He poked around for a hole in the building, just to warm up a little. Chilly, chilly out here, it was. Winter and all, he supposed.

It had been a lovely summer. He had touched every branch in the forest, he was sure of it. While his brothers and sisters were all knickers-in-a-bunch over their winter rations, Squirrel had climbed miles of bark and leapt across a sky full of leaves, warmed his tail in the sunshine, and every evening hassled little dogs from outside their windows. Yes, it was a merry old time.

Aha! He knew there’d be a hole, he just knew it. He shimmied his little body through the opening and crawled into the living room, whipping his tail in after him. Nobody was home! He sauntered over to the kitchen then sprung onto the counter and ran the length of the sideboard. He caught a sweet smell from a drawer. He poked his paw into the crack and jiggered the drawer open. He couldn’t believe his eyes; inside was a nut, made of sugar! He’d never seen one like it. He climbed into the drawer then stuck his nose out and sniffed the air. There were more!  More, more, more!

He followed his sniffer through the four rooms of the cabin, collecting the nuts and scurrying back to deposit them in the drawer. He’d be the envy of the family, he would, he would!  But maybe tomorrow. Right now, he was tired. And with that, he curled up next to his pile and went to sleep.

He woke to the sound of a man and a woman entering the cabin. He scrambled out of his hiding placed, jumped onto the floor, and wiggled back through the hole. Outside, he cried, “Which way, which way?” then raced up a tree, jumped across to the drain pipe, and slid down to the ledge outside the kitchen window.

The man inside was saying, “Looks like the mice ate your poison while we were gone.”

The woman grimaced. She dropped a cooler onto the counter and pulled open a drawer–Squirrel’s drawer! He squeezed closer to the window for a better look. “Oh, dear. I don’t think it was the mice. Looks like something’s been stockpiling them for winter. I hope he’s all right, stupid little thing.”

All right? Why wouldn’t he be all right? And who’s she calling stupid?

“You know that squirrels are basically mice with tails, right?” the man said.

Squirrel took offense at that. He wrapped his leg around his big, bushy tail and hugged it to his cheek. It was a fine tail, it was, it was.

“Well, the tails make all the difference. I couldn’t hurt anything with a fluffy tail.”

Squirrel had almost warmed up to the woman over that. But then she did something unforgiveable; she emptied his drawer into the trashcan! He plastered his paws to the window and screamed at her. “That’s my dinner! Dinner-dinner-dinner-breakfast!”

She turned in his direction and pointed. “I guess we know who the culprit is!”

The man laughed, “Yes, and he sure told you.”

The woman picked out one of the sugar nuts and brought it to the window. “Hey, little guy. I’m sorry to make you mad, but these aren’t good for you. They’re poison!”

Squirrel smacked his lips and swallowed. Come to think of it, they had tasted a little tangy.

Well, it was a good thing he had restrained himself from eating one. Oh well, oh well. He jumped down from the window and plowed through a pile of leaves. “I gotta find me some nuts!”

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