Writing Prompt: Jackpot

Squirrel Climbing Tree with Nut Squirrel Climbing Down Tree

Fat Squirrel in Tree

Score! Jackpot! In a busy, crowded parking lot, this already fattened squirrel had won the Powerball. It seemed someone had left some food on the narrow strip of grass between the parked cars and the sidewalk and Mr. Squirrel was busy claiming his prize.

I spied him as I left the bookstore and snapped a pic or two with my cellphone, but his proximity was so tempting that I decided to dart to the car and grab my camera. When I returned, Mr. Squirrel took off -- treat in mouth -- for the tree, climbing up where he assumed he was out of reach. From my hands maybe, but not from my camera. I pointed upward and started to snap when Mr. Squirrel made a move down the tree and then suddenly flew toward me. I felt like the Paparazzi being  slugged by an angry Sean Penn. Squirrel leaped out of the tree and straight at my face, but fortunately my camera lens was there to protect me. He then scurried off. Rather than being frightened I burst into laughter. Mr. Squirrel was brave and daring and I was rude and invasive. Still, I wouldn’t trade the joy we shared in those few moments – he over a prized treat and me over a prized photograph.

It had been a hard morning. I had traveled over an hour to Burlington to talk to the allergist about my scary reaction to an allergy shot and had to be back to teach. The bookstore was my brief break and reward in the day. It was too brief and I was in too big a hurry. Earlier at the doctor’s office my heart rate had been off the charts. Mr. Squirrel made me stop for a minute and share in his pleasure. We may not be able to know everything animals think, but I am sure of two things: 1. Mr. Squirrel was mighty happy with what he had found on the ground, and 2. Mr.Squirrel was none too pleased with me.

I hope somehow my laughter as he hurried off was able to convey across our species divide the pleasure our encounter gave me, and I hope he doesn’t carry a grudge.

Writing Prompt: What makes you smile? Write about it.