(or Hard Knocks from Not-Santa)
you can blame this little red squirrel (aka Not-Santa) who lives in the Black Hills for what follows— an inane taste of rhymey-ness. Apparently, he thinks it’s WAckY Wednesday…
Something’s clattering there, up on the roof shingle. November: no snowman, no Kristopher Kringle.
No child’s wishful gazing through frost on the pane. And jingles aren’t jangling to merry the game.
Boots of black or reindeer can’t account for this loud chatter. Curiosity beckons me to see what’s the matter.
Another loud noise as I open the door, step onto the deck. There’s no one around, only the sound peek! and the sound of a peck.
A pecker of wood hops up the side of a tree. Cocks its head sideways, stops and peers shyly at me.
I look to the sky. And, behold…what do I see? Industrious movement near the top of the tree.
A figure in red, not a shade fire engine-tinged; But the red of the rust on a pail or a hinge.
Instead of laughter behind a snowy white beard; There’s white on his face yes, but concealing a leer.
The creature’s tail is orange-red and jitters around. As he searches the treetops where treasure abounds.
Eyes gleam like the belt around Santa’s coat. Downy gray fur at the base of his throat.
The chuckling begins, not a bowl full of jelly. Revealing ill humor inside that round belly.
Tis not the season of giving or thanking, says he. No…it’s time for stashing and stowing frantically.
Human, get yourself gone, get out of the way.I needs enough cones to fill more than a sleigh.
Go rake some leaves, pull out thistles untidy. But leave me alone with this project…Alrighty?
One second more do I linger and wonder: When will he finish and stop this roof-thunder?
For two-thousand words I’m attempting to write. Today, not tomorrow I’ll finish this fight.
I linger and watch as he returns back to work. Scolding, tail twitching, to say “What a jerk!”
In contrast to him, my task isn’t survival. And honestly, Writing Muse needs a revival.
So I whistle to Timmy and up the hill we both trot; Uptightness untightening, mind no longer knotted in knots.
Mountain bluebirds flit, ringing sad-noted calls. Saying goodbye, goodbye, goodbye to you all.
And hello. Hello. Hello to mid-fall.
Thanks for reading. If you have a sec, I’d love to hear:
Are your squirrels (or other critters) acting squirrelly too?