Friday, February 24, 2012
Weekly Writing: Norman and the Squirrel
I tried to kill a squirrel today.
I ain’t proud of it, but it is what it is.
See, I’d been having a pretty, well … unorthodox just ain’t a word that does my morning justice. Let’s just say that my day began in a rather unconventional way and leave it at that.
I mean, I just don’t have the strength to get into the play by play, but when you wake up to find a Walrus in a suit drinking coffee in your kitchen, the rest of your day is somewhat shot.
The Walrus, that’s what folks call him, was there to end me in a rather permanent way. That ain’t something that I allow on a regular basis so I went and took steps.
I left the big fella to sleep it off under my fridge while I retired to the front porch with a cigarette and a coffee to wait for the authorities.
I took a seat in one of the rotund wicker chairs just outside the front door. I took in the morning, the smell of the dew on the grass, the sound of the birds in the trees. I smoked my cigarette and I sipped my coffee.
A squirrel hopped up onto the porch from the grass below and stood up on its hind legs looking curiously in my direction.
“You the back up?” I asked the squirrel. “You here to finish me off since your pard ain’t up to the task?
It just cocked it's head to the side and looked at me quizzically.
"Well?" I said. “You got something to say, then say it. Otherwise, git. You got the bug eyes and it bothers me.”
The squirrel stood there. It’s little nose flicking up and down. It didn’t talk. It didn’t move. It just stared at me.
"If you ain’t got nothing to say then git!" I snarled, flicking my cigarette at the impudent squirrel.
It stood its ground in stoic defiance as the cigarette sailed harmlessly over its head. It continued to stare.
"Dang it!" I stood. "Quick staring at me you dern tree rat!" I tried to kick it off the porch but it hopped nimbly to one side, which caused me to miss and fall off the porch.
I rolled about a bit in the grass, the dew soaking my bathrobe.
That’s when the rage took over. I leaped back up to the porch and did my best to stomp the squirrel into the wood grain. It just danced back and forth, dodging each stomp as I cursed and fumed.
“Stupid!” – STOMP – “Tree!” – STOMP – “Rat!” – STOMP – “Get off!” – STOMP – “My dern!” – STOMP – “Porch!”
"Norman?" a voice asked from the driveway off to the left.
I turn in surprise. A man in the khaki uniform and Stetson hat of a Littleton Police officer stood looking up at me, a mixture of curiosity and worry on his face. Pat Waverly. Littleton Sherriff and old friend.
"Hey Pat," I said, breathing heavily. "Dang squirrel’s got my dander up. It won't get off the dern porch, just keeps staring at me."
Of course, as soon as I say it, the squirrel bounds off the porch and runs lightly up a tree, disappearing within its foliage.
I take a moment stare blankly at the space on the porch where the squirrel once was. My sudden departure from reality must have caused poor Pat a little more worry.
“Norman?” Pat asks. “Norman Oklahoma, you in there, son?”
“Who you calling son, Pat? I’m old enough to be your great granddad.”
“Well, you sure don’t look it, Norman. How you manage to look like you just turned forty after all these years is beyond me.”
“I eat my vegetables.”
“Seriously though, Norman,” Pat said, stepping up onto the porch. “Is everything okay? I got a call that a walrus broke into your house and tried to kill you, and now this? You’re starting to worry me, Dances With Squirrels.”
“Don’t you worry about me, Pat. Did you come out here all by yourself? You’re gonna need at least two other guys when the Walrus wakes up.”
“The Walrus?” Pat looked worried again as he placed a hand on my shoulder. “I’m sorry, Norman, but I gotta ask. Have you gone mad or something?”
“Mad? Dang it, Pat. Just come inside and see for yourself.”
“Okay, Norman, but you’re acting like you’re half a bubble off a plum and that’s got me concerned.”
“Just get in the house, Pat,” I said, pushing him towards the door.
As Pat entered the house, I took one last look around the porch, and just as I thought, the squirrel was back.
“You and me ain’t done,” I said, pointing a finger at the bushy tailed monster.
The squirrel just looked up at me, and for a moment, I could have sworn that it smiled.
This story is a sequel of sorts to I Am the Walrus, the story I wrote that appears in the Creative Compassion: Shelter anthology comic.
If you want your very own copy of Creative Compassion: Shelter, you can click on the cover of the book right up there at the top of the side bar.
Or just click THIS.