A Squirrel In The Park

A Squirrel In The ParkByOscar Elizondo

(A squirrel is gathering acorns for the wintertime that is slowly approaching. He is living in the comforts of an old tree somewhere in the city of New York. As he climbs from branch to branch , from tree to tree, and across the gigantic lawn in the park he encounters many people that run, jog, visit, or live in the confines of the city park. The little squirrel sees many things and hears all kinds of conversations that take place around his dwelling. The people around there don’t realize that the little animal has a mind of its own. One particular day an incident takes place that changes his life forever. The squirrel speaks throughout the events as the story unfolds.)

I think I better get up and start gathering some food for me because it looks like it’s going to be a very long cold winter. I still can’t believe mom and dad told me to look for my own tree and gather my own food. It’s hard work and life just hasn’t been the same since I left. This tree I now call home is all I have and I intend to make it the best house in the park. Let’s see, I better take a peek out there and make sure the coast is clear. I’m tired of almost getting run over by those smelly joggers and their big feet. What did I ever do to those people?
Well, yes, things look pretty safe for me to get to work. Now, where were those acorns I spotted the other day just before the sun went down and it got pretty dark on me? And oh yes, how could I forget that they were over there by the lovers bench. I sure hope that couple that was kissy; kissy yesterday isn’t there anymore. Boy, what a bunch of lovebirds. I still remember them saying, “Oh honey, I love you so much. You are the only one in my life!” Then he kisses her on the lips, yukee! How sick.
Nobodies there right now, so things look pretty safe for me to pick up those delicious acorns. I’ll just exit my domain and climb down before more visitors come this way with the nice weather we’re having right now. What a beautiful morning without people around even though it’s nice to get free food from them. But at what price, I have to pretend that I like them petting me. Gosh, sometimes I have to put on a doggie show, I mean a squirrelly show. This good weather means more of them coming around here to talk and hold hands so I better get a head start and do what I got to do.
I don’t trust anybody, even though I let them get near me. Last time I allowed them to be so close they tried picking me up. I thought for sure they were going to kidnap me. That’s why I bit them on their hand; I wanted to show them that they shouldn’t have tried in the first place. I’m no wimp, I’m a mucho macho squirrel and I made a statement. It cost me some free goodies and that’s why I’m desperate now in finding enough food to store, but I don’t regret it a bit. I just have to work a little harder and that’s fine with me.
I’m the first one out here so this acorn in mine, yippee! I hear something and now I can see the rest of my kind making their way over. “Too late for you guys, I said it’s too late so what are you doing! Hey, get away from here and stop harassing me. Don’t push me around, you, you big fur ball. Give me back that acorn! Come back here you thief! I’m calling the cops on you two varmints.” So much for my mucho macho bravado.

Wait a minute, squirrels don’t have policeman. I must have been here in the park too long. After watching and hearing those humans talking about cops and robbers I’m beginning to feel like one of them. However, there is a policeman that comes by around here and patrols the park and he is a very good friend of mine. Maybe I’ll let him know about those two thieves that took what was mine. I’ll tell him to throw them in the slammer for what they did.
That uniform policeman is my friend and he likes me. He always smiles at me and throws me some of his lunch. I guess I can’t fault him for that food his old lady packs for him. She must be a bad cook or something. That’s why I let the others of my kind eat what he dumps at me; I’m not going to allow my waistline to look like his. He’s a little too round around the middle part of his body and I suspect it has something to do with his wives cooking, poor guy.
What’s that noise I hear? I know that sound, it’s that jogger with the size twenty tennis shoes and smelly foot odor that I can smell for a week after he steps on the grass. Last time I sat here thinking he had a little more respect for me; he almost plastered me to the ground. I would have made a nice flat hairy pancake so I better hurry and get out of his way. With those funny looking things he wears around his ears to listen to that blasting music, they make him look silly. He thinks his Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk every time he stops for traffic and keeps his legs moving. Oops, I think it’s too late.
What happened? I must have passed out and this pain on my ribs really hurts. I feel like I got run over by a Mac truck. Wait a minute; the size of the wound feels like I got a shoe. I remember now, that crazy no good bum! Somebody call the cops, it’s a hit and run! Call 911, get a medic, and call my lawyer! Gosh, I better get away from humans. I sound just like them.
I hurt pretty badly and I’m having a hard time standing up. There, there, but what’s that I see up ahead lying on the grass? Why, it’s that careless jogger lying down like he was the victim. “Get up you sissy, I’m the one that should still be down there waiting for the ambulance, not you.” He’s not responding, why that sneaky weasel trying to make me feel like it was my fault that he tripped.
“It’s not going to work. Sue me if you want, you’re not getting a dime out of me.” What’s a dime anyway, I often hear people talk about it but I have no need for it even if I knew what to do with it. “All you’ll ever get are my acorns and my tree, so get up you fake.”
He is still not moving; I guess I am too much of a macho squirrel after all. I’m not through with him yet, I’ll teach him a lesson. Let’s see if I can crawl myself over there since the pain on my gorgeous body is still with me. Look at him with those things around his ears and that blasting music emitting from them. What if I pull on this one, and then the other one and let go of them. Ha, ha, there, I slapped his ears silly now let’s see how he likes that.
He’s beginning to move, I must’ve sparked something inside of his head. I think they call it a brain, but I don’t know about this one. I really think he’s brainless if you ask me. He is moving, he is moving, and he is, oh no! “Why you no good cry baby,
you’re trying to get me back. Get your filthy hands off my beautiful fur coat and mind your manners!”
I did it, I did it! I got away from him even though it was hard to crawl that fast, but when your life is at stake, nothing should stand in the way. I’ll just lay here under these bushes till I can regain the senses to my lower extremities. I hear voices just beyond the bushes and I recognize them. Why, it’s those two men that sneak up here everyday as they plan their unlawful activities and I think this time they really mean it.
If I stay nice and quiet I might get some more details about what they are up to. I knew they were thieves ever since I saw them taking some round objects out of the water fountain. People would say what they wished for and throw them over their heads backwards into the water. What’s that? They are planning to rob the bank across from here. Why, there’s where I do business, well, I mean I gather acorns there and the people call me cutie and all. I have to get the attention of the police, but my ribs are badly damaged. How am I going to stop them?
The policeman has drawn closer to me but he can’t see me. I need to make a better attempt to get out from this cover and let him see me. I know, I’ll just roll over until he notices me. He is looking, but wait a minute. I believe he thinks I have rabies or something with my behavior, but if that is what it takes, so be it. If I stick my tongue out and let it hang down and keep rolling he’ll see how sick I am. Now’s my chance, but why doesn’t he come closer? He probably thinks that I’ll give him the rabies if I bite him, I hadn’t thought of that one.
Somebody is telling him to look over here, but it looks like he’s paying more attention to that fool on the grass. Oh brother, he’s fine, “Will you please just look at me. See how I roll around and around, this is hard work!” Well, maybe if he gets his wide body to turn around and come over I can direct him to those two crooks over there. I think I should be the cop, or maybe work under cover.
He is closer now, but he keeps looking at that chump’s foot. I’m the one that got run over by that big Mac eater, and he is getting the most attention for his smelly feet. “Hey, look over here Mr. Policeman!” I think that did it because he is walking over this way. He stopped short of getting next to me and how what’s that he is saying on that Walkie-Talkie? Yikes! He’s calling the animal health department to come check me out for rabies, and he’s calling an ambulance for that jerk.
“Get away from me, get away from me! I really thought that you were my friend Mr. P-o-l-i-c-e-m-a-n.” I don’t know whether I should bite him, or tell him about the two robbers. I know it’s my civil duty to tell him about the two robbers that are going to hit the bank. However, I still think I should also tell him about those two bullies that took my acorn too, but now that he has called the animal health department it may not be to my benefit after all.
They’re here, and why are they putting on those gloves? I keep myself clean and I don’t happen to have germs either. Where is the respect I deserve? I guess I get none. I can hear Mr. Policeman talking, but what is he saying to those people with nets in their hands and that truck with cages in them?
“Please take care of that little critter, he’s something special and I consider him a friend of this park. If he checks out not to have rabies, please make him well and bring
him back to the park, he belongs here. However, if he is very sick and there’s nothing you can do for him, please let me know. I would like to bury him here, if you don’t mind.”
Wait just a minute; I’m not ready to be put under ground permanently yet. But I must say that big guy really has a soft heart for me, so I think I’ll go in peace. I didn’t really think he cared that much, but with me being the best-looking thing in this park, who can blame him. I almost forgot about those thieves still being on the loose while I’m being pampered and prepared to be taken away to that vacation stop in the city they call the pound. I can’t let it go, “Hey guys, can you just hold it for a minute?”
Now what are they doing with that bottle of liquid and that long glass tube with a humongous pointed needle? Why are they letting it squirt out and looking at me like that? “Hey, hold it right there, that’s not for me is it. I hate needles and I can take the pain, see! Look, I can even walk, really guys see how I, well I thought I could walk. I can crawl, see! No needles please, ouch-ouch-ouch!” I think I’m going to faint, but I can’t, I’ve got to talk to the policeman that’s over there. Why am I feeling so dizzy? I-I-I-I can’t seem to stay awake, zz-z-z-z-z-zzzzzz! (The squirrel sleeps for about three hours and then awakes inside an animal cage.)
Wow, I feel like I slept for a long time and where am I? What am I doing here? I don’t like these bars all around me, I’m used to the free life. I’m no animal, oh, wait a minute, I am an animal. I forgot there for a minute. I tell you, being close to humans for so long in that park makes me forget who I really am sometimes. I don’t like it here one bit, I though I was in heaven there for a second or two until I saw the bars then I realized it’s wasn’t any place up in the clouds.
I am going to have to make an attempt to escape from here and find that Mr. Policeman. I hope he doesn’t throw me in the slammer like some criminal for escaping from this place. This is no hotel and come to think of it, it does resemble a jail. Let’s see now, there’s got to be a latch around here that I can lift. I saw that on the TV show Sponge Bob. That old man that sits on one of the benches in the park right in front of my home always brings that same portable TV with him.
The last show I remember seeing was some episodes of the Power Rangers. They were awesome, the way they escaped from a room they were trapped in. If I could just remember how they did it so that I can try it too. Oh, I see it, the latch, it’s a good thing I have these tiny hands. I think I got it, now if I could just lift it up a little. There, now all that’s left is to push the door open and there it goes! I’m as free as a jailbird, but I better scram before they notice that I’ve escape.
My ribs feel a little better now, but I have to take these bandages off. There, now to make my get a- way! I don’t recognize this place and I surely don’t know my way around the city. Maybe I should ask somebody around here. I see someone, it’s a mouse, and he’s probably been all around the city. “Oh Mr. Mouse, could you give me some directions to the city park? You know, the one on Park Avenue. I’ve got to get there and fast, if you know what I mean?”
“Ten blocks east, and then eight more north. Do I look like I have a map on my forehead or what? Right, then left, now that’s more like it. Hey you could have just pointed me in the right direction and listen, I really need the fastest possible way, you know, a taxi, or something. I see, that way, well thanks a lot, and if you happen to drop
by my way, don’t hesitate to stop by my house. I’ll treat you to some treats. I know that
park like the back of my hands.”
“You’re sure that taxi is heading out my way? And how am I supposed to get on? Follow you; you’re sure that entire crowd walking on the sidewalk won’t trample us? Trust you, yea, I’ve heard people tell me that plenty of times back where I come from and it doesn’t work. Yea right, okay, okay, I trust you, so take me where I can hop on that taxi. Bet you’ll sent me on my way on the cheapest one, nothing, nothing I didn’t, I didn’t say anything!”
“Wait by the trash can, then jump on top of the lid and wait for someone to open the door of the taxi cab. Boy, where did you learn all of this stuff? On the streets, uh! Yes I see the taxi coming and I’m ready. What, jump far; what do I look like, a wimp or what? Here I go, hey, thanks! I’m in now, so see you sometime and maybe I’ll show my real muscles when you visit.”
I’ve never ridden on a car before, but I like it. I’ll just stretch this good-looking body of mine. I hope it stops right where I live, and that I find Mr. Policeman. “Hey, move that big, wow, you almost sat on me you moron!”
Now how will I communicate with Mr. Policeman? I could write him a note. I still remember that other lady who reads those love letters and sits on the bench moping. She cries a lot after reading those letters and I can hear her. I got to the point that I would look forward to it. It was a form of entertainment for me. Everyday she would whisper those words her boyfriend would write on that paper. After looking over her shoulder so many times I started making sense of letters and how to read. If I would have found a pen and a piece of paper I would’ve written, “ Bump that sucker, he’s no good for you!” I’m sure I can write now, after all, I have the prefect hands for it.
The taxi is stopping, I better peek and see if I recognize this place. Oh good, this man put his hat down so I’ll use it to climb up on and stand on my hind feet to see where we are at. Yes, this is the place all right, now to wait for the lady to open the door. There, she opened it, now to jump out and make a run for it. “Don’t close the door lady, just give me a minute.”
No-o-o-o, my tail got caught on the door and the taxi is moving. I better wiggle myself loose even if I loose part of my tail. Ouch, ouch, ouch, there, I’m loose and falling. It sure is good to know we animals know how to fall on our feet, but I wonder how much tail I still have left. Boy, I did loose quite a bit of it. I look like that lady in the cab with a new hair duo, hair split all over the place.
No time to savor my beauty, judging by the position of the sun this is the time he usually takes his walk through the street and then back up to the park. There he is on the other block, but why are those people running out of the bank? I better go in and take a look, I bet it’s those two thieves already hard at work. Yes, I knew it, I just knew it. I better see if I can run down the street and get the policeman’s attention. Gosh, I always said it should be me wearing the uniform; I have a nose for police work.
I hear a noise of fast feet moving and I better turn around and see whom it is. Why, it’s the two crooks and they have just taken the money and they’re heading down this way. I better move to the side and tail them. Well, tail is not the word I was looking for, so I’ll just follow them. They got into that yellow truck and let me see if I can get the
number of the license plate. TY4898, I got it, but what if they change automobiles like in
the movies. There I go again, I better just follow them and see if I can tag along with them.
I’ll use the trick my friend the mouse taught me. I’ll run towards that trash can over there by the alley and leap up on top of the lid and project myself forward and into the vehicle. Wow, I landed inside the trashcan, somebody forgot to put the lid on. No time to panic, I’ll get out and try the next one. Here I go, made it this time. Boy I stink; I better clean myself up before it gets their attention. ( He licks himself clean.) I’m done, now to hide under the moneybag and wait for their next move. The truck is moving so fast that my insides are getting a little mixed up. I hear them, “It’s time to change cars!” I knew it! I think I’ll get in the moneybag and make the change over too.
They have slowed down now that they are in this new get a-way car. I wonder how much longer before we get to where they plan to split the money. I’ll just relax and wait till then; maybe I’ll get some rest before I plan my next move.
We’ve stop, I think this is it. This must be their hideout because I can hear them laughing so loud. Oh no, they are going to count the money and I’m still inside. They are turning the bag over and I’m having a hard time keeping my balance. I can’t hold on anymore I’ll falling out along with the loot.
Pow, that was quite a drop and I’m a little dizzy. “Hey take your hands off of me! You’re not listening to me; I said you are squeezing too hard around my neck! Hey, stop that I said, you give no choice but to bite you.”
“Ouch!” you said. “You fool, I warned you and you didn’t listen.” I made him bleed and I think he’s coming after me. I won’t give him a chance to get me; I’m out of here. I might not know this place, but that mouse friend taught me a thing or two. He said that if I stand around long enough and listen to the people that are around me talk, I’ll learn where they are going, but first, I must look at the address of this place.
1234 is the number, but what about the street, the name of the street, what could it be? Let’s see, there’s a street sign over there somewhere. Yes, I see it. It’s Saint Albany Street. I got it all now. 1234 Saint Albany, now to find another taxi.
“Taxi, taxi!!” wait a minute, they can’t see me. To top it all I’m not a human, how many times must I remind myself. There’s a taxi right now and he is going to stop for that man that is signaling for him to come his way. What luck, well, that all depends where it’s headed too. I think I hear the man telling him to take him to the City Park Bank. Yes, baby, things are beginning to go my way now. I almost forgot, I haven’t gotten on yet. I better stop pampering myself for my good luck and find a way to hop on.
This time I’ll gently jump up on his briefcase that he is swinging around. Wish he’d stop doing that, I’ve got to time it just right or I’ll loose my one and only chance. Now’s the time since he isn’t looking. It’s tough trying to hang on the way he keeps moving this alligator rectangular piece of junk. Wow, I almost lost that time, it’s a good thing my nail got caught on the poor animal’s skin. Oh no, I think I tore it and it’s beginning to tear off. “Hey dummy, hurry up and get us in there before I strip your brief case naked.” I hope he doesn’t see the mess I’ve created.
“Don’t swing it against the inside door just set it down gently on the seat, awe!
I hit my head you nincompoop!” I need to relax; maybe I’ll just kick back and wait for the ride to come to a halt. I think I’m getting hooked on to these cars people depend on so much. No wonder they are so out of shape, they never have to walk long distances like we critters do. Spoiled brats!
I can sense that we are getting closer; I can smell the acorn trees. I must be ready at a moments notice cause these guys aren’t expecting somebody so gorgeous like myself to just jump out. Someday I’ll have my own car and, wait a minute, didn’t I just complain about humans being so lazy. We have come to a stop and wow, my behind is slipping on the seat and I’m about to land on the floor with the way the driver applies the brakes.
No time to complain, I must jump out just as the door swings open. Got it, I’m here and now to get out of the way and plan my next move. Almost got a shoe in my mouth again. I’ve got to find Mr. Policeman, but where could he have gone off too! Over there by the bank, that’s him. I can see him taking notes down; he must be taking statements from the witnesses that were at the bank earlier. Wait till he hears mine, he’s going to enjoy the good news. On second though, I can’t speak like they do, but I’ve got a plan.
I have to take a running start in order to land on that writing pad he has in his hands. Here, I’m on top of it and I can see he’s shock to see me, that’s for sure. “Please don’t push off Mr. Policeman, I come in peace.” I saw that movie too, what am I doing talking about movie shows, I’ve got to get in touch with this big guy. I can tell by the stare in his eyes that he recognizes this and me might be the best chance of grabbing that pen in his hand. I almost forgot, I have to show him some evidence of some kind. I know, I’ll grind me teeth and show him the bloodstains from the crook I bit.
What’s that handkerchief he’s pulling out of his back pocket for? The man is wiping my teeth, oh I get it. He plans to take it to the crime lab and have it analyze the blood type. Boy, he is just about as smart of me. While he puts it in a plastic bag I better get to work on the next step to get him to understand what he needs to know.
I better start writing the address with his pen, I’m sure he will be very surprised that I can write. Let’s see, “1234 Saint Albany Street, doesn’t that ring a bell for you Mr. Policeman? What do I have to do, spell it out for you too, oh yes, I just did.” He is reading it and scratching his head, oh boy! This guy is slow, I feel like James Bond talking to a, I better not, he’s my friend and besides, I think he got it. He is staring at me kind of weird.
He’s reading it again and staring me in the face. Look at him, he is excusing himself from the people and it looks like we are going to one of the police cars that are parked nearby. Oh boy, I always wanted to ride in a police car. “Mr. Policeman, can I please sound the siren, please! Never mind, I know we have to go in a silent mode in order not to arouse any attention, I know, I know!” Looks like we are on our way, well at least I should hope so. He better not be taking me back to that prison I was in earlier.
This must be the place because he is pulling out his pistol. “Hey, do you have a spare one? It’s a good thing he can’t understand my language, I can image myself with a gun, I probably would fit in the barrel. I just hope he can get those two thieves.
I think I’ll take a look by jumping on the dashboard.
Yeap, I can see him, he’s going in without me, whatever happened to being partners? I’ll wait here and make sure nobody drives off. I’m getting nervous just being here without knowing what’s happening. I should be guarding the back entrance or
something, but I guess he wanted me here guarding the car.
What’s taking so long, I hope nothing has happened to him? What’s that I hear! Somebody’s coming out of the front door. It’s my partner backing out slowly. He’s coming out with the crooks and the handcuffs are on. Way to go big guy, don’t give them an inch, I’ll watch your back. He has the money bag too, boy; he must’ve caught them by surprise.
There, he put them in the back seat. I think I’ll climb up here on the back of the seat and see if they are the same two men. Yes, they are, but why are they looking at me that way? I think I better get a little closer to Mr. Policeman, I’ll feel safer that way. Something tells me that if they didn’t have those handcuffs on, they would have their hands around my neck.
Oh wow, feels good to be riding on his shoulder. He doesn’t seem to mine after all. We’re stopping by the park and he’s telling me to please get out. I was getting a little home sick and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be the next James Bond after all. “I know you don’t understand me, but Thank you Mr. Policeman. Let me know if you need any help next time you want to crack a case, okay!”
Why’s he getting off too? He is stopping the traffic so that I can cross the street. Wow, what a guy, what a guy. I love seeing all of these cars stopping just for me, and all of these people staring at me, who cares. “Bye,”
“Stop your honking and take notice of the real Sherlock Homes.” I’ll take my time and glorify every second of this as I slowly walk across the street. Well, here I am, home sweet home. I’ve lost a lot of time chasing cooks and it’s too late now to look for more acorns. I think I’ll just go to sleep and maybe try finding some tomorrow; I’ve had a rough day. (The squirrel sleeps through the night until morning.)
Boy, that was a nice long sleep. I better hurry and find some chow for me to store before the two thieves that stole my acorn get here. I see some acorns over there, but, oh no, the two thieve squirrels have also seen it too. There, I got here first, but those two bullies are fighting me for it. “Hey, stay back you two. This is my acorn and you guys need to get you own, get a life!” I’m loosing ground; two against one is not fair. What’s happening, they’re running away, but why?
“Oh hi big guy, I mean Mr. Policeman. It’s a good thing you got here; I was just about to inflict some pain on those two, well, maybe not. Thanks for scaring away, and what’s in the bag.” Oh wow! Acorns, and nuts, “Yes, keep pouring out the contents of that bag my friend.” I wonder if they are all for me. Maybe if I start taking a few of them to the tree I’ll know for sure.
Well, I’ll put these ones over here and what’s that noise outside my door? I hope it’s not those two thieves again. Why, it’s the policeman and he’s reaching in and placing the rest of those nuts inside. So they are for me, and look at the size and the amount of those. I’m set for the rest of the winter.
I better take a look outside my house and see if those two varmints are watching. Yes, I’ll stick one out there and let them see it and give them a taste of revenge. “Hey, you two goons, see what I got? Acorns, and walnuts, and pecans, wouldn’t you guys want some? What, am I willing to share them with you guys?” Get real! I don’t think so; get your own lives you two thieves. While you two keep searching for some I’ll be
cracking some for myself. And if you get any ideas about stealing my stash, see that policeman standing over there? That’s my partner.”
Time to sleep now; I think they got the idea, that’s why they ran. I don’t think they will bother me anymore. They know the friends I keep. Night, night!”


A Squirrel In The Park


Harlingen, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

A squirrel is gathering acorns for the wintertime that is slowly approaching. He is living in the comforts of an old tree somewhere in the city of New York. As he climbs from branch to branch , from tree to tree, and across the gigantic lawn in the park he encounters many people that run, jog, visit, or live in the confines of the city park. The little squirrel sees many things and hears all kinds of conversations that take place around his dwelling. The people around there don’t realize that the little animal has a mind of its own. One particular day an incident takes place that changes his life forever. The squirrel speaks throughout the events as the story unfolds.)

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