Squirrels with Attitude

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It’s late October, the feisty time for squirrels. A big grey one runs down the slanting trunk of an old growth Sitka spruce to stare me in the eye. I want to tell him that neither the dog nor I are here to rob his cache. Aki would rather eat cheese than the contents of the winter store of spruce nuts and mushrooms.

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All through today’s walk squirrels drop from their tree perches to challenge Aki. She falls for it every time, dashing a few feet into the forest and then stopping to assume a rigid, tails-up pose very like that the big grey squirrel showed me. I know the little dog has no interest in harming the noisy rodents. Last year, on the moraine, a squirrel actually turned to face Aki’s charge. The poodle-mix stopped abruptly and wagged her tail like she does when meeting a friendly dog.

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