It’s not every morning I walk out on my deck to see a pair of copulating wild rodents.
I had to let the dogs out, you see, because they were going crazy. It wasn’t until I stepped outside that I saw the cause of all the yipping and prancing. I am not sure if Odd Trundles fully comprehended what he saw–he was neutered really early in his short life–but Miss B certainly did, and I think it’s the first time I ever saw her, well, shocked.
She charged at the happy couple, nails scrabbling and full-throated howls rising. “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? THERE ARE PUPPIES AROUND HERE! TAKE IT SOMEWHERE ELSE!” Of course, Odd Trundles scuttled in her wake, and his cry was much simpler.
“NEW FRIEND!” he barked as he scurried along, whistling with excitement from both ends. Ever since the incident involving the SQUIRRELPROOF 5000 DEATHRIDE Odd has been ever on the alert for his rotund little French squirrel buddy.
Napoleon!Squirrel, on the other hand, is a very busy rodent, and has ceased to even acknowledge Odd’s existence with a string of foul chittering words. Miss B always gets at least a rude gesture, once Napoleon has made it to a safe vantage point. I should note that the Mad Tortie has ceased to chase Napoleon, believing him not worth the trouble and besides, her tastes lean more toward the avian than the rodent.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Miss B was performing her Legion of Decency duty, Odd was overjoyed to see Napoleon again, and Napoleon…well.
I’m sure I would have been cranky too, in his position. Ahem. Anyway.
“VIVE LE SQUIIIIIRREL!” the round little gallant screamed, separating from his…erm, duties, I guess you’d call it? Said separation was rather sudden, and I managed to get a good look at his partner, who seemed a bit dazed by this turn of events, crouched on the deck with fine feathery tail lashing.
Slim, sleek, and possessed of a lovely set of cheekbones (if squirrels had fashion mags this one would be a star), it was undoubtedly Josephine!Squirrel, who is the one creature in the Realm of Backyard that can command Napoleon’s breathless silence. If Josephine is in the yard, you can bet Napoleon is lurking somewhere nearby, staring in rapt rodent wonder at Josephine’s fluid hindquarters, aerial grace, delicate paws.
Josephine!Squirrel, I must report, also possesses testicles.
Rather large ones, which were on display as he–she? S/he? Anyway, Joseph/ine stayed frozen, huddled on the deck, no doubt overwhelmed by the sudden attention.
Miss B expected squirrels to behave in a squirrel-like fashion and bolt, and she had already calculated the most likely avenue for them to make their escape. So she switched direction, in a stunning display of canine agility…and realized too late she was chasing nothing, because Napoleon had gone straight up the railing and Joseph/ine, wide-eyed and only beginning to realize what had happened, trembled in a heap. Napoleon, realizing his paramour had not moved, shot a glance over his shoulder as Miss B tumbled down the stairs.
Odd Trundles is not burdened by any similar ability to plan ahead or anticipate, so he’d just kept going in the direction he was first given, right at Joseph/ine. He flung himself upon he…um…Her? Him? (I DON’T KNOW HOW JOSEPH/INE PREFERS THE PRONOUNS, DAMMIT!) upon Joseph/ine!Squirrel, ecstatic and licking. “NEW FRIEND! *slobberwhistle* NEWFRIEND! SNACK SIZE!”
I can now report that squirrel chivalry is not dead, and that it has an ardent proponent in one fat little foul-mouthed specimen. “VIVE LE SQUUUUUIRRRRREL!” Napoleon shouted, and launched himself with an amazing backflip off the railing. Odd, startled by this sudden motion, tumbled backward and decided his bravery, while adequate, was no match for such surprise attacks. So he did what he usually does when faced with such a situation.
He barked, farted loudly with surprise, hit my ankles, and cowered, still barking his high-pitched “DID YOU SEE THAT? I’M BRAVE! I’M BRAVE! HOLD ME BACK, MUM! *snortwhistle*”
Napoleon landed on all fours, flung his head and tail up to show his best side to Joseph/ine, and screamed again. “FEAR NOT, GENTLE ONE! NAPOLEON EEZ HERE! EN GARDE!”
Meanwhile, Miss B, who had all but fallen down the first flight of stairs as a direct result of her own damn intelligence, had sorted herself mostly out and was headed back up, grimly determined. She possesses precious little dignity, but the small amount she has, I guess, was touched. She rose up the stairs like a sharkfin rising from the vast deep, and Napoleon, busy watching Joseph/ine’s reaction to his heroism…
…had his back to her.
TO BE CONTINUED…