She was literally surrounded. “Where had they all come from?” She wondered as she pulled her feet up and off of the ground. Scanning for a place she could seek shelter, Sandy saw only rolling hills and green unadulterated pastures. She couldn’t help but chuckle sardonically at her current circumstances. Convinced that a lifetime of city life was bound to kill her, Sandy had finally been able to retire to the country a week ago. Trading her uptown flat (complete with its annoyingly uppity neighbors) for a quaint little bungalow she had relished the fact that her nearest neighbors were more than two miles up the road. Looking back at the ground, Sandy choked back an acidic bubble of panic and recoiled even higher onto the tree limb she had managed to heave herself onto a few moments ago.
“What in blazes am I gonna do now?” she thought to herself. “Well, since it looks like I’ll be in this tree awhile, I guess I could always change my name to Jane and wait for Tarzan to swing me outta here,” she joked out loud. That thought distracted her for a little while as she imagined herself being flung through the air by a grunting juicehead in a loin cloth but a new thought soon yanked her from that humorous line of thought… it was getting dark. Looking to the sky the unmistakable signs of sunset were upon her. She now realized she had two choices, make a run for it now, while there was still enough light for her to find her way home or sleep in the tree and deal with whatever night creatures may come. She had a feeling she wouldn’t like these ‘night creatures’ any more than what she was dealing with now, in fact they would probably be worse… much worse.
Gripping her tree branch tightly, as if she hoped some of its strength would transfer into her own body, Sandy closed her eyes. Half hoping this had all been some kind of nightmare, she peeked back at the ground below her tree limb… where they were still swarming. Sighing, Sandy scanned the horizon once again in hopes that one of her neighbors or perhaps a couple picnicking would wander into ear shot of her tree. Gold tinges were now lining the sky and Sandy knew she had to make a move now or she might as well get comfortable for a long night on her branch.
“It’s like diving in the deep end, you just gotta do it, Sandy ol gal. No more thinking, no more excuses…on the count of three,” she coached herself. “One… two…THREE!” on three Sandy catapulted herself off of the limb and hit the ground running. Running as fast as her 60-year-old legs would carry her, Sandy, with her eyes firmly shut, high stepped almost a half a mile in the direction of where the country road picked up and led towards home. Only when she felt the crunch of the gravel road under her sneakers did Sandy dare to open her eyes.
Once she was inside the safety of her own home, Sandy immediately rung her neighbor on the phone. “Dale! Oh thank God you’re home! I was just up the road, having a walk through those fields and you’ll never guess what happened. Well I decided to sit for a spell, to cool off and was just daydreaming and looking around at the ground and… well, the whole ground started moving! Dale, I swear to you I’ve never seen anything like it! Bugs were EVERYWHERE! Grasshoppers and ants and wasps and mud-daubers and ticks and beetles… there were these thin little black things and small little bright green suckers, some gold and red bug I’ve never seen in my life and oh God, they were everywhere! Dale, we have got to call someone to come out here and do something! What’s that? Uh huh… uh huh… you mean to tell me… that’s normal? Uh huh… yeah…ok, thanks Dale,” sandy hung up the phone and stared blankly at the wall. Ten minutes later she was packing.
“To hell with nature, I’m living out the rest of my years in a place I can call an exterminator!”
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Happy 4th everyone! Today I decided to celebrate our country’s Independence Day by working towards helping some of our four-legged friends towards theirs at In Harmony With Nature Animal Haven. Being there in the middle of the day on a hot July afternoon is exhausting, so I decided to sit for a spell under a shade tree while Andy was bringing around the next pup in need of a walk. As I was sitting there and staring at nothing in particular, movement in my peripheral vision caught my attention. As I focused on the ground it slowly seemed to come alive with insect activity wherever I looked. It was kind of amazing to just sit there and watch these little critters go about their lives, pushing dirt, buzzing through the grass, crawling over sticks and the like. I saw bugs I’ve never seen before, things that could double in an alien thriller if they were up-sized a bit. It was weird to think that I traipse through the grass, not really thinking about the hundreds of lives that are literally beneath my size eights. It was a bit humbling and kinda awesome… in a creepy, ‘Ew, get off me!’ kind of way.
Love & Squirrels.