Sunday, July 24, 2011


            I believe I’ll remember this summer as the one of the lazy squirrel. My backyard squirrels usually entertain me with their wild aerial act, yet this summer I catch them snoozing in high branches as they try to catch the almost non-existent breeze. In the past, the family of four loved teasing Bridget and Koi with the circular route they take from live oak to back fence to hackberries. Then they made the daring leap from tree to rooftop. They often stopped to chatter at the dogs at this point, their version of “nanna—nanna—boo—boo” that sent the dogs into a frenzy. This summer, though, dogs and squirrels laze in dappled shade in surrender to the heat. A tail may flick to attention, or ears suddenly prick in alertness, but lethargy draws all animals into a drowsy tolerance that will vanish when autumn’s coolness returns.
Bridget watching a squirrel on the roof

            With each day of record breaking temperatures and zero rainfall, I catch myself longing for the beginning of fall. I know the reenergized squirrels will challenge the dogs from tree branch or fence edge once the air cools. They will scurry down into the yard, sneak up to the back door, and incite a riot inside my house as Bridget and Koi scramble out in full attack mode. The squirrels always will escape, of course, because I can stall the dogs just long enough to give the rodents the edge they need.
            For now, though, we survive this stifling, sweltering summer together. I doubt the dogs or squirrels miss their contests of boldness and swiftness as they have mastered the art of living in the moment.
Koi keeping cool by drinking from fountain

 Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman


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