Rising Park, Lancaster, Ohio

Rocky missed his branch. I was waiting for a neighbor who wasn’t home to answer the door. A stuttering chatter came from the roof, followed by a leap towards a giant oak tree. The squirrel’s front claws dug into the bark, spinning him under the branch, and the poor thing fell and landed with a “thwap” flat on his back on the concert sidewalk. I thought for sure he was hurt, but after a moment of what seemed like shock, he flipped over and scampered up the tree.

This wasn’t Rocky’s only poor leap of judgment. I was sitting next to a window, pretending to write, when I saw the rather dusty-looking thing attempt a death-defying leap from one tree to another, only to end up doing an embarrassing one-paw grip, slip, and half flip to a lower branch. It didn’t seem to throw him off though; with a few strong shakes of his tail, he was off again.

I like this squirrel “shake it off” routine. I recall seeing two ducks having it out in the center of a pond, wings flapping, water splashing, along with the most unholy duck sounds. Then they paddled to opposite sides of the pond and shook it off like a wet hound. There’s something to all this, one good wild shake and on to the next moment. It could be a useful technique. I don’t think I’ll try it in public, though.