I’m so wounded that I can’t imagine my mood when it’s too cold to go outside.
Papa spent his nervous energy shooting squirrels. I have no vengeance on the furry rodents like him, although I know I have inherited his inability to sit still.
Even if there is nothing new going on in our life, the same day in and day out as we stay at home, the world seems to be getting crazier by the minute. I cannot mow the area for the weekly therapy, so walking has to be enough for now.
Papa spent a lot of the winter months shooting squirrels through the kitchen window until the dealership knocked on the door behind the house. Although a concrete wall separated Papa’s back yard from the dealership, he managed to hit several cars with his BB gun. He claimed the squirrels scared his dog. You don’t hear of many squirrels chasing a dog, so I haven’t taken this claim seriously until now.
The squirrels continue to collect and chat about acorns during our walks as the dog and I pass by. It took some squirrels to do their tree trick before I was convinced that they were actually moving around the trunk so as not to be seen. Perhaps these pesky rodents are smarter than I credit them. After all, her non-stop “crazy” actions drove Dad to squeeze through a trapdoor in the attic to get his BB gun that I had hidden.
I haven’t seen this with my own eyes, but I’m pretty sure the squirrels will throw acorn shells at us when we pass. It might be a fluke, but it seems to happen almost every time. Either they are very comfortable with our daily walks or they have decided it is time to terrorize the dog. They are waiting to crawl up the tree until it is only a few inches away. I feel like they are just poking him on while they sit and stare at us with acorns in their mouths and one in their hands.
Our hiking route takes us in front of the pond, where the dog pretends to chase through the dead tall grass, and then up the tree-lined driveway. We always turn left at the pond, never right because it is too close to the road, and I hope the dog has realized that the car that occasionally drives by could mean trouble for him.
This morning the squirrels were in full swing. All the snow had melted and they were busy gathering the rest of their supplies for the remainder of the winter. It seemed like a squirrel was hopping from tree to tree as we walked up the driveway when it landed practically right in front of us. To my horror, the rodent turned right and took the dog that was chasing after it into the street. It was a trap and the dog fell for it.
When we got back to the house I was convinced the squirrels were trying to kill my dog and I would return the favor.
I found the BB gun. If only I could open this window.
Sandy Turner is a mother, grandma, former caretaker, and retired journalist who lives in Missouri and writes a weekly column on home, family relationships, and the positives of troubled times.