Kowalski!Squirl, still screaming for Stella, landed too. Only he did not hit the ground. No. That would have been too damn simple.
Instead, I watched, clutching the empty watering can, as the heat-crazed, screaming squirrel landed directly on a poop-spewing, very excited Odd Trundles. What resulted was, in Cleolinda Jones’s memorable parlance, a FURSPLOSION.
Odd Trundles: NEWFRIEND? *snortfartshartwhistlegaspbark* NEWFRIEND WHERE IS YOU?
Miss B: WHAT THE HELL? HERD? BITE? BARK? WHAT?
Me: *horrified gasp*
Now, even though Odd must have sensed, dimly, on some level, that the sudden weight on his back was his new, exciting buddy, and though Odd is so sweet he would no doubt do his best to be a trusty steed ridden into the chaos of battle, there was just one problem.
Now, I know Odd is not the only dog who has trouble with the concept. Miss B, of course, understands that when I put the treat under something, her job is to knock it over and collect the sweet, crunchy food reward. Odd, however, just looks mystified, sad, and awestruck. Mystified because, well, where did it go, sad because the treat is Obviously Gone Forever, and awestruck because hoomins are MAGIC and can make things vanish at will.
So, Odd had just crapped himself and his new friend had vanished, and there was a sudden weight on his back. There’s another aspect to this, of course. Poor Odd is so corkscrewed that his hind end only exists for him because he has working legs back there. He can’t see his own ass, or lick it, like other dogs. His back might as well be Shangri-La, for all he’s ever seen it. This creates a number of strange behaviors, the most interesting of which is when he has gas and is frightened into thinking some form of stenchful whistling beast is RIGHT BEHIND HIM and READY TO POUNCE.
Normally, when Odd is frightened, he makes a beeline for my ankles. However, I was up on the deck, which meant there were stairs between him and that precarious safety. So, every synapse in his doggy brain fused, and he decided the best thing to do was just to…run away, as fast as his stubby, blurring little legs could carry him. His immediate lurch to put this plan into motion, as it were, dislodged Kowalski!Squirl, who thankfully had not landed claws-down. No, the tree-rat was shaken away, and landed in the streak of digested extrusion his appearance had called forth from Odd Trundles’s capacious bowels.
In other words, my friends, the squirrel ended up in the shit.
Odd: HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALP! *barkbarksnortwhistlefartbarkscrabble*
Miss B: *staggering, cocking her head* WAIT, HOLD UP, I AM SUPPOSED TO DO SOMETHING, I KNOW I AM, LET ME THINK…
Odd blundered into the shade-garden boxes, uphill on the north end of the yard. Kowalski!Squirl, besmeared and bespattered, took off for the vegetable garden at the south end. I reeled towards the stairs, though I don’t know what I could have done at that point unless it was just to wait for events to reach their natural and fully inevitable conclusion.
My poor, sweet, silly bulldog made it to the other side of the shade garden at high speed and dug in his claws, digging a furrow across an astilbe that will never be the same. Kowalski!Squirl extended in a full running lunge and hit the ground a few feet away from the Cesspool of Despair, throwing up a pine cone in his haste. He was so rattled, I guess, he didn’t make for the fir in the middle of the yard. He zoomed right past it, and (as I said) straight for the vegetable garden. I mention this again only because, to understand what happened next, it bears repeating.
Miss B, bright as she is, finally took complete stock of the situation she was enmeshed in. There were two objects moving at high speed, but she was pointed toward the southerly one, and not only that, the southerly one was a small arboreal rodent, making a lot of noise and powerfully fragrant. Can you guess what happened next? Can you, my dear Reader?
I’ll tell you.
The Australian shepherd bellowed “HEEEEEEEEEEEERD IT!”
And the Chase for the Beshitted Squirl was on.
To Be Continued…