One Less Squirrel
A gray fox squirrel, a pretty thing seen so close, bore the same markings as the common gray squirrel but with a whiter vent and half again as large. This one sported the characteristic tail longer than the body, it’s unmoving spiny shaft conspicuous, wet now with saliva. The pasture grass had concealed the animal as it harvested walnuts from the tree just up the bank from the creek. But the same grass made it hard to see an approaching predator, and then once pursued, impossible to run at full speed to safety.
I don’t think Tsuga set out to kill, only to play. But he plays rough with creatures in fur, though he’s not once growled or snapped at us. I’ve never seen him happier than with his new playmate hanging out both sides of his grinning mouth. Yes, I think dogs do smile. I wish I’d taken his picture with his tropy.
Ann asked me while the dog was distracted across the creek to please go pick up the carcass and dispose of it. I carried the customary grocery bag prepared to evert it over the warm, wet remains, still to my fingers alive-seeming through the thin plastic. There was nothing for the bag but the gray tip of a tail.