Juliet has been at it again. This time she took on two squirrels and paid the price. We were out walking the other night and we paused on the deck behind the rental office. There’s a large pond there, which is usually always bone dry, due to our lack of rain, and a boardwalk connects the deck to the pool area. On the sides of the walkway are four mangrove trees in a row; the sides of the pond are not sloped, they’re stair-step landscape areas.
While standing on the deck, Juliet saw two squirrels down in the pond, one at the base of the tree furthest from us; the other at the next tree. One leap and she was down in the pond, and charging both of them. They waited until the last possible second, and then scurried up their respective tree.
Here’s where the fun began. Juliet kept her eyes on the squirrel closest to me, but ran toward the other squirrel. As she wasn’t watching where she was going, the inevitable happened, she ran into the tree! Shaking off the effects, even as the squirrel seemed to laugh at her, she tried to run up the trunk after the offending critter, all to no avail. Meanwhile, the other squirrel had only gone up the other tree a few feet, it was clinging to the side facing me.
Once Juliet realized that the first squirrel was beyond her reach, she started looking for the second one. She stood there sniffing and searching; all the while, the varmint remained silent and unmoving. Finally, Juliet began to circle the other tree.
The squirrel spotted Juliet coming into view and raced up the tree, and Juliet saw the squirrel. Again, she tried to run up the tree after it and unceremoniously returned to earth. She tried again and the result was the same. She concluded that the tree was the problem and ran for the other one. She went up the trunk, all of about three feet, and tumbled back down.
The squirrels, having taken up positions just above Juliet's reach, had turned around to face the ground. It seemed they took great delight in watching her vain efforts at following them. Yet, Juliet undeterred, kept at it.
She looked around, and saw the stair-step landscape area off to the side, just on the other side of the last tree. It appeared that an idea was presenting itself to her. She jumped up onto the first level, then the second, and then the third. Turning around, she was now at just about eye level with the squirrel on the fourth tree. She launched herself toward the tree. Her form was so perfect, front legs out straight, back legs out straight behind her, pushing off hard. She sailed through the air and fell far short of her mark. There's no deny the overriding influence of gravity.
It was a good effort, but ultimately doomed to fail, she could not get up either of those trees. However, some good did come of it. I’m not just referring to the laugh I got from the episode. No, when the squirrels saw Juliet flying through the air toward them, it seemed to worry them, they dashed higher up the trees.
Yeah, she’d scared them. Maybe next time they’ll show a little more respect.
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
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