Friday, September 30, 2005

Cajun Squirrel

My husband got home from work and let our hyperactive dog out into the yard, leaving the back door open. He then proceeded upstairs, where he happened by chance to be checking on the dog from a vantage point next to the bathroom window at the exact moment that a sonic boom/thunderclap occurred and the house went dark for approximately two seconds. He saw a shower of sparks fall from the intersection of power lines in the alley behind the house. He heard a collar frantically jingling and panicked little paws patter through the yard, up the steps, across the kitchen and living room, around the corner, up the steps, and into the bathroom to jump into his lap while he was in a terribly compromised position. The dog was vibrating with terror from nose to nub. He went out to investigate and found a crowd of our neighbors who confirmed that the temporary loss of power also affected the block behind ours and next to ours, and that sparks flew from the transformers on all three corners.

At the base of the pole where Chris and the neighbors were crowding lay a squirrel--- his formerly bushy tail was severely singed and his back feet were both fused to it. The three appendages were completely welded together as if he had been born that way.. The air stank of cajun cookout-- blackened burnt fur. fried varmint. When the crowd was parting, one of the neighbors took the blackened squirrel. He said it was because he didn't want his cat to eat it, but this is central Pennsylvania, I am thinking he wanted it for supper.

The irony is that the dog and the squirrels who infest our yard are bitterest enemies. The squirrels come just low enough on the trees to be out of his reach and chatter at him incessantly while he goes berserk.... Everyday, we routinely throw heavy walnuts from the yard at them to try to knock them off the branches and level the playing field. One of the few words of English that Simon understands is squirrel. I can say squirrel suddenly and randomly at five in the morning and Simon will struggle out from beneath the blankets and run downstairs to the back door to go out and kick ass. Today on my lunch break I had the dog in the yard and the squirrels had given him a particularly vicious taunting, but apparently somebody with a lot of pull has taken my dogs side in this.

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