Naturespeak A naturalist's view of the world

April 11, 2007

Sciurus Rex

Filed under: Uncategorized — wykes @ 9:34 pm

  The Fox Squirrel in my yard paused in mid stride to strike a pose. He was fleeing toward the Red Maple, but halted after a few steps. His bushy tail stretched out flat on the grass and his caramel brown body swept up in a graceful curve to the top of his perked and alert ears.  Two chestnut eyes reflected the fire of the mid-day sun as his gaze fixed upon me – the yard master.  With one front paw planted firmly in place, the other was raised and bent at the wrist like an equestrian statue. He was the Rock of Gibraltar and quivered not. 

  Here was a competent squirrel verging on the brink of nobility.  He had braved the vicious chills of February, conquered the blacktop death strips, and located nearly every walnut he buried last fall. He stood over a freshly unburied walnut and he would not yield this one to me.  No, this yard and this nut belonged to him and not the two legged hat wearer.

  The nearby squirrels began to flee for the safety of the trees as I stepped out the door. They always yielded to the tailless one. Today, however, something stopped them in their tracks.  One by one they turned whiskered heads to peer back at one of their own breaking the mold. They stopped to gaze at the defiant one that stood before me.  “This one,” they collectively thought, “would be the ONE.  Here is the CHOSEN ONE that will bring squirrelkind into the spotlight.  We shall write sonnets and tell our grandsquirrels of this glorious moment. I was there, they would tell the little ones sitting upon their bended knee, yes, I was there when Sciuris Rex rose to the level of king.  I was there as we chased the hairless beast back into his den and released the air from his killer tires.” 

  The showdown lasted for ….seconds before the CHOSEN ONE erupted into a full out panic run to the nearest tree. The others also vanished up the trunks as if blown there by a silent explosion.  A soft chilly rain started to envelop the scene and I ran to my car with fully inflated tires. 

  The CHOSEN ONE nervously perched on a high branch and watched me back down the drive.  He was only a Fox Squirrel, after all.  His temporary defiance was the product of an instinctive need to assess danger and judge the distance to the nearest safe haven. He is king of his element and much better than I at climbing, sniffing out buried acorns, gnawing away walnut shells, finding swollen spring buds to eat, and making leaf nests.  Fox Squirrels like himself are perfectly put together to do what they need to do.

  The other yard squirrels quickly forgot the incident and went on with their lives. They never brought it up to the CHOSEN ONE since doing so would reveal their own foolishness as well. They know full well that squirrels cannot write sonnets and don’t really know how to undo the cap on a tire air valve.


  1. pirelli winter tires…

    pirelli winter tires…

    Trackback by pirelli winter tires — August 26, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

  2. I love your squirrel pieces! I almost laughed ’til I cried.

    Comment by Ellen — March 10, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

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