Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Thurs. Writers and the Love-Sick Squirrel

Today is the annual Christmas lunch for the Thurs. Writers. It's a tradition to lay aside our normal projects and contribute something funny, saluting each member, or else a poem in that vein. Bob's are famous; he calls each effort "My beautiful poem" and I mutter under my breath, "Doggerel." Naturally, Gentle Reader, you are not likely to know any of the cast in my story, but I want to see how it goes AS a story. With no further ado ...

It was a bright, sunny autumn afternoon and the Thurs. Writers had finished another spirited, but helpful series of critiques. We lingered as we exited the Veterans Park senior center, chatting in little groups, enjoying the fine weather.

Suddenly, Joyce looked down and said, "Oh! how cute!" A handsome-looking squirrel was sitting just by the toe of her shoe, looking inquiringly up at her. (Not a great distance as Joyce is not very tall.)

"I wonder what it wants?" she asked the group, but the squirrel itself answered her. He leaned his head forward, putting it delicately on the toe of her shoe, then turned his neck and gazed adoringly at her.

The squirrel was in love!

"This will never do!" sniffed Donna. "Squirrels are nasty things; they're just rats with bushy tails. We need to chase it away -- here, I'll poke it with my ski pole" and she did poke it, but gently. The squirrel shot her an angry glare. She backed off immediately.

"Nonsense!" bawled Peggy, "Let me take care of this -- I'll swot the damned thing with my lucky prospector's bed pan!" and so saying, she tossed it at the squirrel. He dodged easily, glared at her and then turned his admiring gaze back on Joyce.

"Damn it all, this is unacceptable!" huffed Dale. "I'll just run home, unlock my gun cabinet and ..."

"Dale! It's against the law to shoot stuff in a public park!" shrieked Nina. "Remember how you and Bob almost got us kicked out of here for having wine at the last Christmas party? You shoot off a gun and they'll have us all in jail!"

"No need for guns," said David and began softly singing "Danny Boy." The squirrel looked at him suspiciously. It almost seemed as if it regarded David as competition. It narrowed its little black eyes. David smiled encouragingly at it, but the squirrel once again turned his affectionate gaze toward Joyce.

Bob, who'd been studying the developing situation carefully, helpfully volunteered, "If a couple of you can catch it, I'd be happy to trip the toilet flush lever..."

No one wanted to try that. The situation was at an impasse until, suddenly, all eyes turned to Emma's big Mercedes, clearly visible in the parking lot. Our heads swung back to her, but Emma flapped her hands dismissively, "Nuh, uh, I'm not running over that squirrel with my Mercedes! No, no, not me!"

"Oh, Lerri," said Joyce, "Can't we take it home?" Lerri shuddered and said, "Mom. The dogs."

"Oh, that's right," Joyce said.

But then the group saw a second squirrel -- just its face as it peeked around the base of a nearby tree. It made a funny noise and the amorous squirrel gave a great start! Ashamed, he tucked his chin into his chest. The strange squirrel emerged from her observation spot, walked over, grabbed the love-sick squirrel's ear in her teeth and dragged him away.

Bob and Dale looked at each other. "Women!" they chorused, "They'll ruin a good time every time!"

No comments: