Oh this is sweet, you think. Ms. Squirrel arriving for her almond bright and early on a Monday morning. You’ve got your coffee, and you’re ready to begin your work week with WIP development work. For once, the sun’s out, casting a burnished glow through turning leaves.
Ms. Squirrel takes her nut as usual, departs to store the nut for winter, reappears for another, departs, reappears, eats the third nut, and then sidles to the open screen door. What’s this, you think. You’re becoming quite friendly and tame indeed, Ms. Squirrel.
She’s just inside the house, standing up on her back legs, sniffing you. For a moment, sweet images of pet squirrels flit through your head.
The squirrel is insistent, and you’re thinking, how cute. And then you hear a crinkle of leaves, a scrabble, and a soft chitter. A head pops into view from the roof, checking you out. Then a second squirrel drops onto the balcony rail, and you realize that you have been feeding not one squirrel, but two.
Double the fun, you think. What’s a few extra almonds?
But then, a strange thing happens: mother nature in action. How bizarre, you think. On MY balcony? You’re in denial as you watch the insistent squirrel chase away the newcomer. You realize that the newcomer is Ms. Squirrel, for real, and that the other one sports a big ol’ nut sack. You’re still holding out your hand, almond in place, when the nasty little effer bypasses the nut in favor of your finger.
He’s grabbed on good and tight, and at first you don’t know what’s happening. Then, the telltale jab of pain. Mother-effing-little-effer! You shake him loose, thinking, What is it about testosterone anyhow? Thinking, Dude, there’s plenty of almonds; you don’t need to go all Hannibal on my ass, and with a little bit of Cujo thrown in for good measure.
Finger throbbing, blood welling from the wound, you run to the sink. You’ve got the tap turned on high, and the water hits the blood, splattering it all over the sink and even onto your bathrobe. In your shock, you squeeze your index finger over and over in what you think is a snake-bite strategy — to squeeze out the squirrely toxins before they shoot through your bloodstream, latch onto your healthy blood cells, multiply, and turn into a nasty, infectious, frothy outbreak of something.
You can’t help but think of a few Stephen-King-esque story ideas. For example: What if Mr. Nut Sack liked the taste of human blood?
Mr. Nut Sack — that would be squirrel non grata to you, buddy.
Hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, and a Band-Aid later, I’m fine. I’m wondering what the week has in store for me though. As I write this the female — doublecheck, yes, no nut sack — just ventured back and picked up the almond the male so rudely shunned.
Isn’t that typical — the female tidying up after the male!