The first thing I do every morning is let the dog out. Next, I feed Leroy, a task promoted to the top of my to-do list because if he doesn’t have kibble there is no way I can empty my bladder in peace. Some days I wake up so bleary and exhausted I forget to put my glasses on, and then I feed the kitty in an early morning haze even more difficult to navigate than normal. Today, maybe because it was Monday and I wanted to start the week with my eyes open, I grabbed my glasses before starting my rounds.
Leroy eats in my office because I can close the door to keep him in and Sherman from stealing his breakfast. I keep the plastic tub of cat food on a cabinet below the window, and I admired the suddenly opening leaves on my backyard elm (at least I think it’s an elm) tree as I scooped Leroy’s (shut up) kibbles. Unexpectedly, something moved in the tree.
It was this fine fellow.
I’m still not sure how I had the wherewithal to photograph a swift little rodent so early in the morning, but the proof is in the frame. I am a rock star. I managed to snap a couple good shots of my squirrely neighbour before he moved beyond the reach of my lens.
Here’s the kicker, that nasty, swollen little pumpkin-lookin’ thing in his mouth is a rotten apple. I’m guessing he stole it from the top of the neighbour’s tree, where the shriveled end of last summer’s crop lingers. The problem is that an apple from last September is clearly fermented enough to make this sprightly little guy the life of any party. Mr. Bonjangles up there will definitely dance with nimble awkwardness when he finishes his prize. I wonder if he’s telling all his little squirrel friends about the boozy apples on top of that very large tree.
My biggest concern, beyond worrying about him stumbling into traffic or passing out in an unfortunate place (like a skinny tree branch) is the obvious extent of his alcohol problem. After all, there he is, drinking at twenty to seven in the morning.
There goes the neighbourhood.
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