Two big fox squirrels side by side, one with a shimmery black coat, shiny as a polished nut and the other with a whiskery white shagged hide. What, the distinction? Male and female? Mature and juvenile? Both of them as big as an apricot poodle and quick, quick, quick. Caught out, exposed on the recent charcoal burn of the forest floor, no convenient turkey oaks to hide them- the sleek-pelted one candy-caned around a pine tree shedding ticker tape bark as it tore-ass up the tree. The sound of it’s claws like a 1950’s newsroom. The wire-brush white one statue still, waiting in the open, concerned maybe, but not alarmed. All of this taken in by eyes flooded with sweat, smeared by the blinking, the rubbing, the blinking, the rubbing, but not so bleary that I missed these two, away from the drey and roaming about. I stopped, as I often do, to check them out and contemplate the heft of them, the reassuring grip of their feet wound up in the twine of my jacket as we strode out on the town, my two squirrels and me. Or so I imagined, but it can never be, the squirrels and I as close as is likely right now. If only, I think, they could stop by the house. Pay a visit and enjoy a drink with me on the porch before traveling on, to the places squirrels go in the summer.
“I see you up there!” to the chattering one with the sleek, dark coat. “Good day to you sir!” To the one on the ground with the disheveled bottle-brush tail. I’ll be back, I think to myself before riding on. Again, and again, and again, and again.