Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Little Squirrelly

Last week when we were visiting the Botanic Gardens for a good long walk (one where my daughter can run ahead of me without me getting stressed about cars and streets and the business of Denver) we came across this interesting little guy. He was on top of the trash can eating something indiscernible. As we approached instead of running away he went into the trash can. I was not expecting that, nor was my daughter. Throughout the Gardens squirrels were running a muck. Especially on the small trails that run along the South side of the compound. Perhaps, the trees are more brittle in the winter and so we heard many snaps as the squirrels ran from tree to tree.

It reminded me of this guy I went to grad school with who was deathly afraid of squirrels. He was and, still is I am, one of the most handsome and charming men I know. He was very tall and was the quintessential ladies man. I saw him with various women throughout our tenure at school, but never the same one. You would think he had no weaknesses. But he did. Squirrels. There was a wooded area, well, really just a clearing between buildings on campus where there are a fair amount of trees (of course this is in Greensboro, NC, and if you could show me an area where there where no trees I would be shocked) and anytime I walked through this area with him he would grab on to my arm, scared a squirrel might jump on his head. He knew various stories of the small animals attacking people and if we saw one he would stop dead in his tracks. Sometimes he would whisper to me, "look how they move, you can't tell what they are going to do, they could come at you and you wouldn't know what was happening."

I have to admit last week I was a little freaked out by the squirrels I could hear them all around me, but was only catching glimpses of them. When we walked by the trash can again the squirrel who had been sampling the unknown treats inside was gone or so we thought. As we neared the can it suddenly scampered out in a blur, stood on top, and looked at us. Then, quick as a flash it hurried across the sidewalk and over to a little pond where it got a drink before scurrying up a tree and out of sight. The entire time it's wary eyes followed us.

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