12

Is Sammy Squirrely?

Image result for squirrel at computer

Sammy and his family live with a scurry (group) of squirrels in an oak grove. It’s fall – time to gather nuts for the winter.

The group has planned a “nut gathering party,” and everyone is invited. Sammy’s family is getting ready to go.

June (his wife): Sammy, are you ready to go?

Sammy (at the computer): You and the kids can go ahead. I need to finish what I’m working on.

Peter: Dad, you never gather nuts anymore.

Image result for squirrel with book

Sammy: I’m retired. That’s what I have you for.

Sarah: Daddy, be serious. It’s embarrassing. All the other fathers are there.

Peter: Besides, it’s a party.

June: Honey, you can take a break for one afternoon, can’t you?

Sammy: Sorry, I really can’t. I need to finish before winter. Remember to bring the nuts home instead of burying them.

Image result for squirrels acorns

Sarah: That’s just weird, Daddy. Why? My friends are all going to laugh at me.

Sammy: I’m working on an idea to make it easier to find our nuts this winter. Did you know that some squirrels never find more than a few of the nuts they’ve buried?

Peter: We always have enough to eat.

Sammy: I know. But I think we should know where ours are.

June (sighing): C’mon kids. Let’s get going before all the good ones are gone.

Image result for squirrel at computer

The three of them leave the nest. It’s a beautiful afternoon, and there are nuts everywhere. The kids run off to search with their friends. June finds her friend, Kelly.

Kelly: Hey, June! Great to see you. Where’s Sammy? I haven’t seen him around much.

June: He’s working on some top-secret project about the acorns.

Kelly: That’s strange. It seems like he’d want to be out here in the sun. But I guess if it’s that important, he should be doing it.

June: I suppose. But I think the rest of the scurry is beginning to believe he’s crazy.

Image result for squirrel at computer

Kelly doesn’t answer. She’s looking at the other squirrels gathering and burying acorns. She spots Peter and Sarah. They each have a pile of nuts near them.

Kelly: Are Peter and Sarah all right? It looks like they are just piling the nuts up instead of burying them. Aren’t they feeling well?

June: They’re fine. It’s part of Sammy’s plan. He wants to know where each one is buried.

Kelly: That’s a little strange. Why does he want to know?

June: I have no idea. He just said it’s vital to his project.

Image result for squirrel burying acorn

Kelly starts to feel sorry for June. She thinks the other squirrels may be right. Sammy’s mind was starting to go. He was becoming “squirrely.”

Before long, the sun starts going down and the squirrels return home.

Peter: Hi Dad. We’re home.

Sammy: Did you get lots of nuts?

June: It was a good afternoon. A lot of the squirrels said they were done for the season.

Image result for pile of acorns

Sammy: That’s great! So where did you put ours?

Sarah: They’re still where we found them. In piles.

Sammy: I thought you were bringing them home.

Sarah: It was way too embarrassing. Everyone else buried theirs. The other squirrels thought we were just being lazy. Mom said we could bury them from where they are.

Sammy: I suppose she’s right. Let’s go.

Image result for tired squirrel

Peter: I’m tired. I’ve been hunting nuts all afternoon.

Sarah: Besides, it’s getting dark.

June: I’m sure they’ll be fine until morning.

Sammy finally agrees, disappointed.

Image result for squirrel with camera

The next morning, the family starts burying the nuts. It’s a slow process because Sammy wants to write down exactly where each nut is. Several hours later, they finish.

Sammy: Great job, everyone! Thanks for your help.

They return to the nest, where Sammy immediately goes onto his computer. He works intently for the next few weeks. Running between the computer and where the nuts are buried. He finally has to stop when the snow starts to fall.

 Image result for squirrels acorns

Next week: Is Sammy crazy or is he a squirrel with a plan?

Pictures are courtesy of Google Images

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3

En Garde, Pumpkin

Just so no one gets the wrong idea, I love fall. It’s always been my favorite time of year. The heat has finally gone away, the weather is beautiful, and it’s football season. I try to ignore the fact that the reason the leaves turn all those pretty colors is because the tree has to get rid of them to get ready for winter.

However, autumn’s starting to forget its place in the grand scheme of things. Summer is the season before fall. Half of the summer should not be taken over by autumn activities. Let’s face it – fall is the time we get ready for winter (at least those of us who spend many months preparing for snow, driving in snow, and cleaning up from snow).

We have already lost the battle of school supplies. As soon as July 4 is over, we start getting advertisements for school supplies. We just got our first year-round school here, so best-case scenario is that they are starting seven weeks early.

The weird thing about school supplies is that they go on sale in many places as soon as the advertisements start. I guess it might be because no one is going to buy extra pens and pencils a month and a half early unless they are cheap.

The really good stuff (like the expensive calculators) don’t go on sale until a couple of weeks before school actually starts. And if the class has special requirements for supplies, they don’t let you know until a week before classes (if you’re lucky).

So if you want to make sure that your child gets their favorite folder and notebooks, you need to shop by the early part of August (we only had one tiger folder left last week and mega dogs with only a few cats).

On the other hand, with calculators and specialty goods, it’s usually early September. And first-time shoppers are at a huge disadvantage with the specialty goods. Parents with connections (or older children) have already snatched up the good stuff by the time the rest of the parents even hear about what you need,

But the specific trigger for this rant is an advertisement I heard on the radio earlier this week. Tim Horton’s was advertising its new pumpkin latte as a fall drink you can enjoy now. Apparently they are trying to get a jump on Starbuck’s, who is going to start serving their fall drinks next week.

I really don’t understand the appeal of a fall coffee drink in August. It’s been in the 80’s all week with the worst humidity we’ve seen this summer. Shouldn’t people still be drinking frosty mugs of root beer or real beer or something?

If you’re addicted to coffee, isn’t there some sort of summer flavor? I’m not a coffee drinker, but thinking about it, maybe there isn’t. Raspberry and lemon, two favorites with iced tea, just sound revolting when you put them with coffee. Hmmmm, maybe that’s the answer: iced pumpkin coffee. The worst of both worlds.

As you may have guessed, I don’t like pumpkin. It’s a gourd. A nutritious gourd, but a gourd none the less. All squash are gourds. But most of them know their place. The winter varieties show themselves in the fall and get cooked into all kinds of yummy dishes. We won’t talk about summer squash.

But pumpkin needs to be in pies, and coffee creamers, and cream cheeses. They are developing a pumpkin Oreo. It will have some vanilla-type cookies (good thing – chocolate cookies would be a travesty). I’m sure I just haven’t looked hard enough for pumpkin-flavored potato chips.

We’ll know the end has come when they start selling winter coats in August. I remember trying on a winter coat in July one year when I was little. It was going to be a birthday present. I was so miserably hot trying it on, I didn’t care what it looked like. I’m guessing the marketing people discovered that talking about snow storms in August was just pushing things a little too far.

I know it’s a losing battle. Last week I saw a tree down the road changing colors. Today I noticed that my magnolia is blossoming again. How can we keep things straight when Mother Nature is so confused about what season it is?