April 26th, 2009

caillebotte_man at his window

Springing

A squirrel scampered across my roof and made a leap to the neighbor's oak tree that hangs over my fence. Barking, he scaled a long, thin branch and stopped, taking his prize from his mouth and eyeing me warily as he held it in his paws. It was a young pine cone, probably packed with tasty seeds. The squirrel chattered and bobbed his head, then put the cone back into his mouth and beat the branch with his paws, as though trying to intimidate me. Big, tough squirrel. I looked away and he seized the opportunity to leap to a further branch, and then to the dense fir tree adjacent to the oak.

Escaped! But from what? Did he mistake me for some species of bear, capable of climbing trees? In my best year, I was never good at climbing. Even had I wanted that pine cone, I could never have reached him. Earthbound and clumsy, I craned my creaking neck to see where he had gone, but I saw only only swaying branches, and I heard his progress from tree to tree, the rustling of needles and leaves and the repeated chuckles he let out as he made his way to the wooded lot beyond my back fence. I hope he enjoyed his meal on some shady branch, out there where the woodpeckers chuckled with him.

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