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The Dangerous Life Of A Squirrel In Autumn

1103 words - 5 pages

The sky is the color of cold stones as I cautiously make my way down the trunk of dying oak. The few remaining leaves of the tree rustle as a light autumn morning breeze passes through them. One of them is blown free, making a soft snapping sound as it breaks away from its anchored brothers and begins to fall to the ground below. It twists and turns as it goes and I watch it in momentary curiosity. I have seen this often before. It is still mostly green, only slightly browning at the edges. It makes a show of falling, as though it knows it has an audience. It spins and dances, carried across an unseen stage by the breeze. The breeze fades and dies and the leaf follows shooting down quickly ...view middle of the document...

However, as winter quickly approaches I am no longer the thin and quick young squirrel I had been in the summer days. I have grown fat and slow in preparation for the long sleep.
I race across the ground below, my small paws kicking up noise and dying leaves as I pick up speed. I pause briefly between sprints to listen for sounds of predators, or simply to hear what the birds are singing about today. I twitch my nose and catch the scent of pecans, acorns, and other forms of nut within the area. They are my usual food source and are very scarce now that it is so close to winter. I must act quickly or some rival animal will snatch them away. I take off as fast as light in the direction of a particularly strong scent. My heart pounds in my chest so fast that it's almost not beating at all. I can smell and hear my rivals as they race towards the scent as well. I am quite certain there will be a fight on arrival. I prepare myself to win this race and the fight that may follow. Yet, when I cross the span of the front yard of an old abandoned house I am attacked. I cry out in fear and try to break free as sharp fangs sink into the delicate flesh of my bushy tail. I scratch my paws over the ground, ripping out small bits of dying grass and pebbles. I hear a guttural rumbling and glance back in horror as my eyes meet those of my captor.
My captor is a pampered gray house cat with the blue of the summer sky and the mischief of a devil in its piercing gaze. It is well groomed with long fur and a purple band around its neck with a little bell on it. I am paralyzed by the cat's gaze, unable to do anything more than stare back at it as my heart beats overtime. The cat slowly stands and begins to drag me across the yard, the bell tinkling as it moves. My head bumps over sticks and twigs in the grass....

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