[SCENE: Ninety-plus degrees outside, but relatively cool inside. At the dinner table, chez Saintcrow. Behind the Little Prince is the French door to the deck. Our view out said French door is captured above.]
Me: [checks to make sure I’m wearing shoes] What the…
Princess: Uh…is that normal?
Little Prince: What? [turns around in chair] Oh, wow. Is it dead?
Princess: I don’t know.
Me: I can’t see if it’s breathing.
Princess: So, um, we’re just going to eat dinner with that right there?
Me: God protect us.
Miss B: [under the table] What? Food for the dog?
Odd Trundles: [sitting on our side of the French door, blissfully oblivious] Food for the dog? Food?
[Overheated Squirrel twitches.]
Me: JESUS CHRIST.
Little Prince: [dropping fork] WHAT?
Princess: It moved! It moved!
Dogs: FOOD? FOOD FOR THE DOGS?
Me: Everyone just stay calm. Are we all wearing shoes?
Princess: Mom, it’s outside.
Me: THAT MEANS NOTHING.
The squirrel was alive. After a little while, as if it could hear us, it leapt to its feet and regarded us, sideways-baleful in that way only prey animals can manage. The kids were delighted. I was definitely NOT. Why, you ask?
Because I had to take the dogs out after dinner. And chances were, the squirrel was going to be there.
TO BE CONTINUED…