Sunday, April 24, 2011

Somebody give me another push

Hard to complain about a warm Easter Sunday without a cloud in the sky.  Got the yardwork done yesterday so I'd have the afternoon to pursue less punishing activities.  I settled into the hammock with a copy of The Sound and The Fury and minutes slid into hours.

The call of a pissed off squirrel is unmistakable, a muted screech lacking rhythm but not persistence (sorry for the derailment of any train of thought, but did I mention I was reading Faulkner?).  I peered through the branches of a sweetgum next to the tree that anchored the hammock until I saw a bushy tail waving like an old woman's handkerchief.  He was sitting on the lowest branch, cursing and taunting my dog lying on the ground fifteen feet away.  For some reason the dog only lifted his head to watch this rodent's rant.

Eventually the squirrel made his way into the maple at the foot of the hammock and through the leaves I saw something red in his mouth.  A flower?  Nothing red in bloom in our yard right now.  A strawberry?  Maybe, but where would he have gotten it?  One of the kids' toys?  Possibly, but why would he want that?  As he scrambled overhead I could make out red holly berries still attached to a branch with glossy green leaves.  This looked like something stolen off of the mantel at Christmas.  And he was still screeching.  And by now the dog had pressed his jaw back down to the ground, eyes closed as if these last few minutes never happened.

The prey tormenting the predator, a token from a different season in his mouth, the predator indifferent to his attempts. Had I fallen asleep and become suddenly conscious in the middle of a dream?  Somehow it really didn't seem out of place with a critically acclaimed novel that the author is still chuckling about in his grave, knowing another poor soul is trying to figure out just what the hell he's talking about.  I suppose life is like that some days.

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