stephanie jones

Baby squirrels and other writing distractions

In every day stories on September 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I’m supposed to be writing an article and the deadline is looming.

But there are three baby squirrels in my backyard and I can’t keep my eyes off them. I have attempted to persuade myself to see them as menaces, knowing full well that as mature squirrels they will tear up my bird feeder, intimidate the birds I lure into the yard, throw acorn tops down from the trees, and run and jump on my roof way before my alarm clock goes off in the mornings.

But if you could just see the smallest one curled up at the base of the tree trunk where a second stump is attached. Her shining gray hair blending beautifully with the dancing sunlight. I know she is there only because I have watched her every move; someone walking by would never spot her. Her tiny body is dwarfed by the fluffy tail – even if the tail is only one-fourth the size of a mature squirrel’s. And when she finally leaps, it is with the most graceful and silent motion I have witnessed in a long time.

And if you could see her bigger sibling, finding the courage to make her way onto our deck in search of fallen acorns and maybe adventure. She scatters and scampers and makes all kinds of noise when our [little] dog notices her and chases her from one side to another side of the grill. The action stops and she slings herself from the side of the deck down to the grass where she stands so still that her speeding heartbeat is the only evidence of life.

And if you could feel the easy breeze and hear the soft bird songs and listen to the whirrr of cars on the nearby highway and see the gentle movement of the trees against the white-streaked blue of the sky you would know why I’m not writing my article.

I thought I was supposed to be writing that article, but now I think I’m supposed to just be.


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