Monday, June 28, 2010

Feeling Squirrely

This morning, I noticed one of my cats sitting in her spot at the window, indulging in a morning bath. Not four feet away, perched on a fence rail, sat a squirrel grooming itself too, in full-view of the cat. At first, I thought the cat hadn't noticed her bathing partner. I anticipated the sound of plants crashing down from their stands when kitty happened to look up and see her favorite outdoor toy and charged along every window in the house in full-pusuit.
But, to my astonishment, she acted as if she didn't care about the squirrel when she saw it. She simply continued with her bath. The squirrel continued with his. Usually, the sqirrel teases poor kitty from its spot on the fence, seems to laugh as she smashes into the window, skids off the ledge and repeats till the fuzzy-tailed rodent strolls away. But not today. For a reason unknown to me, it appears a truce has been decided upon. Kitty glances up at the squirrel again and I know there is no mistake that she sees it. She leaps down from her spot, off to other important things like climbing the bookshelf. All the more reason to aquire more books, fill up the empty spaces for kitty's safety.
A few moments later, squirrel wanders off to pursue squirrel business. Probably to tease the neighbor's cat. Last winter, I watched two squirrels tag-team three cats from our dogwood tree. Surrounded by felines, the tree-rats took turns creeping down the trunk, daring a cat to chase them up. With no takers, one pushed the envelope and came down from the tree, ran a circle around one of the cats that finally took the bait and chased it up another tree. Kitty seemed stuck, unable to keep up, at a loss for what to do next. But, the squirrel knew. It brushed right past poor kitty, down to the ground, past the others and back up the dogwood with the other cats in pursuit. Both squirrels leaped onto the power-lines leading across the street, disappearing into the deep of a large pine. Game over. Rodents- 1, felines- 0.

I'm sure a lot of folks have squirrel stories. These critters are obviously smart and enjoy play and monkey mischief creating vast amounts of antics we can't help but observe. My favorite story was told to me by former utility co-workers many years ago. One summer afternoon, a crew truck was at a job, there to repair a leaking watermain. While waiting for equipment, one worker passed the time by chucking rocks at a squirrel sitting in a nearby tree. Finally, one rock connected, beaned the poor creature right in the head. It crumpled into the limb for a moment, sat back up, shook its head and when it regained its senses, eyeballed its attacker. It chirtled its little squirrel sound of anger (I'm sure it was an explitive) charged down the tree in a bee-line at the man who was now frantic to get inside the crew truck and close the door. A second later, the squirrel ran to the other side of the truck where the crew-boss sat laughing, his door open, a snarling ball of fury creeping closer. "Shut the door, shut the door", the worker yelled in terror. But the crew-boss couldn't stop laughing. In a panic, the worker jumped out from the truck, ran down the sidewalk, squirrel in hot-pursuit.
I called him Squirrley from that day on. Did I rub it in? Of course. He just didn't get that it was wrong to harm an animal for his own entertainment. But, I don't think he ever picked on a squirrel. again.

Friday, June 11, 2010

From The Inkwell

As promised, though a bit late, I'm happy to announce my new radio show, From The Inkwell, is now on the air. You can hear it Saturdays at 1pm on 1650 chradio am., or catch it live-streaming at
We are working on getting the shows archived just in case you miss it, so please check it out to see if we figured it out. ;)

The show is an hour long exploration of poetry and prose with guests ranging from writers to publishers, playwrights to booksellers who read and discuss their work and experiences in the literary world. And it's buckets of fun too. Ok, it's mainly a lot of fun. Check it out.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Snail's Pace

This morning, I did as little as possible, having exhausted myself with work, my new radio show, a thousand errands and projects. But, at the insistence of the neighbor's cat that chooses to spend it's time on the porch when the possum isn't using it, I drug myself to the stoop let poor kitty curl onto my lap. Not that I had a choice.
While sitting there, pinned down next to the potted pansies, I noticed two snails cruising the foliage, gliding like whispers across the green. One idled to nibble a spent bloom as the other stretched onto a leaf that couldn't bear its weight and collapsed. The snail clung on, upside down, suspended and to my eye, in trouble. I almost reached out to help it, but then, it took the opportunity to feed on a bloom that was hidden to me until I peered closer. So, I let it be. Maybe the snail isn't so dumb. Just then, a neighbor hurried into his car, gunned the engine and whiplashed down the street.
How interesting that these two polar opposites present themselves together, right in front of my eyes. Patience and impatience, grace and speed, opportunity presenting itself and seeking it out. A lot to consider.
Then, to myself, I chided my neighbor for being in such a hurry, careless of anything in his way. What's all the rush for? And is it worth the risk of missing so much, so much that blurrs by in our haste to get it all done. Is it worth draining ourselves to check a task off of our to-do lists, run as fast as we can, g-force winds flapping in our cheeks like derranged sky-divers?
And then it hit me like a cosmic 2x4- who was I calling an idiot, too worn out to pull a few weeds on such a pretty day, struggling to link words into cohearrant sentences. It's a good thing the porch isn't screened in, else that rock I chucked at my neighbor would have bounced back and beaned me in the head. I like my head, tired as it is, wrinkles and all. So, tomorrow, I'm playing hookey, taking a day off. No work, just lazy. And you can tell my boss, I don't care. Her name is Sheri L. Wright. Having one's own business does have its advantages.