“Hi Honey. Have you seen Blackie yet?” I asked walking into the house, dropping my bag beside the foyer table.
“Yes. I told her you’d be home in a minute. I gave her a peanut and she scuttled off with it.”
I grabbed a handful of nuts from the kitchen and by the time I returned to the front door, our cute squirrely friend was sitting there, patiently waiting for me.
“Come on Blackie,” I said walking down our entrance steps. The little imp followed, much like a puppy, heeling beside me. Together we ambled over to the huge gnarly Scotch pine that grew in our front lawn. I dropped the peanuts by the trunk and Blackie scampered up to them. She immediately began sniffing through her bounty. I’m sure she did a count before carting them off, one or two at time to some unknown destination in one of our neighbours’ lawns.
Blackie, whose name befitted her colouring, had adopted Hubby and I, just as we had adopted her. Our property was her exclusive territory and she fearlessly chased away any usurpers who dared to lay a forepaw on any part of it. She was our tiny welcoming committee, running out from behind bushes whenever we arrived home from work.
Beyond the set meal times and routine that went with it, Blackie just liked to hang out. Whenever I was out weeding my flower beds, my little companion would saunter over, stretch herself out on the grass beside me and simply lie there while I worked. At first, I thought she was hoping I’d give her peanuts, but I soon discovered that was not the case.
In the evenings, Blackie and I would keep company on the front porch. I’d be sitting in a folding chair reading my book. My fur-ball friend would lay down, spread-eagled beside me until twilight turned to dusk. And then, as if on cue, she would get up, stretch, look up at me, swish her bushy tail and wander off to her nest.
One Sunday afternoon, Hubby and I were lounging outdoors when Blackie suddenly showed up. She jumped onto our picnic table. She was shaking all over. She began screeching and chattering at us. Something had upset her and I knew it wasn’t us. I went over to the table and listened. I spoke softly to her. Slowly she calmed down and with a squish of her tail, she scampered off. She’d just needed someone to talk to.
Blackie graciously shared her life with us for a most memorable year. The Carrot Ranch’s May 18th Flash Fiction Challenge made me think of her. The prompt was to write a story that featured a squirrel.