Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Squirrel poem

The brindled squirrel stands on his hind legs
Sniffs the sunflowers along the fence
And bats a sunflower stalk
To test its strength
It wobbles back and forth
He lunges at the flower
But scrubs the mission and backs off
Ponders the technical objective
And makes a leap of faith
Like Jim Wickwire on K2
Fording a crevasse
With his own leap of faith
He grasps the thick stalk
Swaying and starting to lean
Under the squirrel's weight
Makes a quick swat
At the seed-laden flower
And his claw catches it
He can give up leap back
And retreat momentarily
To safety on the cedar planks
And leave the seed jackpot behind
Or somehow maneuver the flower down
He sits still for a moment
And begins to gnaw at the stalk
When he nearly saws through
He has a new problem
Holding the flower in one paw
And clutching the stalk for dear life
With the other
While my cat stands underneath
Watching the sunflower sway
He bites through the stalk
The sunflower drops to the ground
And startles the cat
Who shoots off into the yard
The squirrel scrambles down
Grabs the sunflower
And makes it to the garage roof
Where he digs out the seeds
And caches them in the gutter
He repeats this with three flowers
Shuttling up and down the roof
The cat becomes bored
And walks away.

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