A squirrel's conversation
by Jane Curtis/Texa
After spending the morning volunteering at a senior center I came home and started watching the activity outside my window. This story came to mind.
I watched as a squirrel came scampering across the street in front of my house. It is a major highway and I am glad he got across without any problems. Since there are railroad tracks over there I assume he is here from out of town. No suitcases, just a guess.
My resident, Mr. Sq, scampered down one of the pecan tree branches he had been working on all day. I know there was chatter because they were looking at each other while flickering tails and twitching at each other. The traveler took just a few short hops to the trunk of the tree and ran down the tree branch over to chat with the resident. Their tails were flickering as they met. Mr. Sq waved his arms as if to tell the guy that all this was his. He jumped over to another branch of the tree that had not been picked clean of pecans.
Now, you must understand the ground is covered with pecans. There was no reason to go to so much trouble. Mr. Sq did what he did yesterday; he scampered to a branch out on a twig and snatched the pecan on the end. The traveler followed and did so… on another twig. The two met on a larger branch and proceeded to enjoy their bounty. As they were snacking I watched with great interest to the mannerisms Mr. Sq was making. The conversation must have gone something like this.
"I just do this for fun. You know in my previous life I was a lion. Boy that was the life. I could sleep all day if I wanted. I had a lot of hair around my neck and down my shoulders. All I had to do was sit each day in the sun, lean back once in a while and shake my head … like this. Then I would yawn, see and show everyone my teeth." Like, this… see? You see my teeth?" Mr. Sq tilted his head back with his mouth wide open and shook his head. I had seen this before so was sure of what was being said. "Now, I’m a squirrel. The wife doesn’t understand I’m working at a handicap. See, when I was a lion it was up to her to do all the killing and getting food. I was just supposed to show up and eat. I always got to eat first too. The only thing I was supposed to really do is service her (you know what I mean) when she said she wanted it. Every once in a while I got stuck with the kids, but even then all I had to do was throw my head back (show’em how Purdy I was) and yawn. You want me to show you my teeth again?"
All the chatter stopped when Mrs. Sq showed up. Once again she is chattering and nudging him in the back of the head and finally taps him on the shoulder with one hand only to nudge him again in the same spot. Then she chatters to the traveler. "He been tellin’ you he was once a lion?" She shook her head. "He tried to tell me that stuff too. I never heard of a lion. All I know is squirrel. And he is a squirrel." He interrupts her and flickers his tail. "I know what you were in your previous life, you were a mare." She throws both hands in the air, turns and scampers away down to the ground to gather more pecans.
The traveler sat quite for a few minutes and then he dared to ask, "What is a mare?" Mr. Sq answered, "I’m sure she used to be one. That is what they give race horses when they retire from the track, a nag. They remind them when they are supposed to do stuff. They call them mares."
The traveler scratched his head; said his goodbyes and ran down the trunk of the tree. He chatted with Mrs. Sq for a second, snatched a couple pecans and stuffed them in his jaw and ran off down the street.
I know what he was thinking. One short visit had educated him about lions, racehorses, and mares. He shook his head. The poor guy has it all wrong. When I was a crock all I had to do is show up to get my dinner and make everyone scatter. I did not have to show them my teeth. And what is a yawn? He is wrong about mares too. Mares have strips on them and run with a whole bunch of other mares, not racehorses. I don’t know what to think of a nag. Yeah, poor guy has it all wrong.
Now you notice that he talked about being a lion but never asked about me. I guess I’m glad he did not ask, no tellin’ what he thinks a crock is. Being a crock was great, but being a squirrel is a whole lot easier and dryer. I don’t have to wrestle a pecan in order to eat. I do have to listen to a lot of nuts. It is all good. Yes, I like being a squirrel. Poor guy, when is he going to realize he is a squirrel? He is not what he thinks he used to be; but a squirrel. He is not what he thinks he is going to be; but a squirrel. We both are squirrels. It makes no difference what I "was", today I am a squirrel.
Thank you father, I’m doing just fine the way you made me. I’m going to be the best squirrel I can be today. Nothing else matters. Everything else is just plain nuts…