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Location: Central Michigan, United States

Spent a long career making lots of money for other people. Now it's my turn. _____________________________ Email:

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bug Tails - "Bug Went Hunting"

Uh…Bug went hunting…kinda.

The plunk of acorns falling on the ground from two ancient oak trees was the only other disruption to the quiet serenity of the day. The accompanying disruption to the sound of falling acorns was the soft steady snores of old Libby, spread-eagle on her back, napping and basking in the warmth from the sun. A perfect fall day---temperature in the mid-seventies, unblemished blue sky, and the air calm as a sated woman.

Bug, sprawled flat on his belly, was snuggled tight against my thigh. Me? I was sitting on the top step of the deck thinking “man-thoughts”.

Two fat squirrels, one black and one reddish-brown scurried into view and hurried under the oak trees. Bug stiffened. A low growl rumbled in his throat. This ought to be interesting, I thought. The squirrels began to gather acorns. Libby continued to snore.

He hadn’t attempted to move yet, but Bug’s body was taunt as the waist band of a pair of too small underwear. I glanced down at Bug and saw that the hair on the back of his neck was bristled straight up. He was trembling too.

It didn’t take long for the squirrels to have their cheek pouches stuffed full with acorns. They rose up and curled their tails like squirrels do. Both looked around to survey the surroundings then scampered off in the direction from which they had arrived. Bug twitched. I put a hand on his shoulders and told him to stay…that the squirrels would return soon. He sighed, his body relaxed, and he leaned a little tighter against my leg.

Sure enough, about five minutes later the two squirrels reappeared. I felt Bug tense like a compressed spring. The squirrels chattered briefly to each other then resumed the gathering of acorns.

Bug launched! No threatening growl, no warning bark. He just launched himself from the deck and landed on the ground at a full run. The squirrels rose to their haunches and focused on Bug as he charged directly toward them. They separated. The black squirrel dashed toward the oak tree to the east, the red squirrel toward the oak to the west. Oh-ho, I thought, Bug has a dilemma!

You’re familiar with the phenomenon of being expected to be at two different places at the same time…aren’t you? Yep, when the squirrels separated at the last possible instant before Bug’s arrival, Bug’s head and shoulders followed the direction of the black squirrel and his hind-end started in the direction of the red. Ass-over-teakettle he went! He tumbled down the short grassy slope just beyond the two oak trees to disappear over the top of the seawall. I heard the splash and saw the small geyser of water when Bug landed in the lake.

I now think squirrels are capable of laughter. The high-pitched chatter that came from within the gold leafed canopies of the oak trees sounded like squirrel laughter to me.

Old Libby grunted, rolled onto her side, and continued to snore. Me? I went to see if Bug had learned how to swim yet.


Blogger Bernita said...

This is pure delight!

9:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Sharon said...

I didn't expect him to "get wet". I laughed, it felt good, it's Sunday morning. Great way to start my day.

10:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Bernita, Dear Gal!

11:09 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Well, Sharon, hello and thank you. Coffee is always fresh perked here. Come by often.

11:11 AM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...

Kinda see a comic strip of a dilemma rising from the water, and poor old Bug on the horns of it.

3:02 PM EDT  
Anonymous Ric said...

Wonderful! I could picture that exactly! Nicely done.

9:26 AM EDT  
Blogger normiekins said...

Bug has such a personality....and you convey it eloquently....

squirrel laughter?....genius!!!!

man thoughts?....mmmmmm

10:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh this was wonderful! Thank you for this. You are as refreshing as dipping my bare toes in rain water. And thank you for all the times you visit my blog. I am grateful.

12:43 PM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...

I just hit your site.
I'll say it again: You are some dish!...and I'm jealous of Erik. Ha.

Dogs hate me.
Maybe it's because I am one. LOL

1:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Ivan, Ric: Thank you. It is good to see you.

Yes, Bug certainly is a comical character. Usually, he's the one wearing the horns. I've had many dogs over my life and Bug has been the most enjoyable, so far.

7:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Thank you, Normiekins. Yeah, man know, hunting, fishing...

BTW, Nomiekins, I love the humor on yours. Great stuff!

7:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Meander, I'm pleased that you enjoyed this little "tail". And it is always a day-brightener for me when you stop by.

On yours, I think you have a great idea to start a blog or website concerning autism. You have the writing ability to make a wonderful contribution to those who must also deal with the issues.

You are always welcome here. Please do come by often.

7:19 AM EDT  
Blogger EA Monroe said...

Hi Erik. I enjoyed Bug's kinda hunting tail. Those squirrel-munks weren't named, Chip and Dale, were they? San the Eskie has a Squirrel friend that keeps her busy. One day the squirrel came down outta the tree and put up its dukes. I thought there might be a dog/squirrel brawl in the back yard.

4:53 PM EDT  
Blogger R.J. Baker said...

He has heart. You've got to give him that. Pets are always good for comedy relief.

I thought there was a "nut" joke coming so you got me.

7:00 PM EDT  
Blogger normiekins said...

thanks erik.....i'm an overgrown baby at times.!

10:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Glad you stopped by and enjoyed, EA. The pleasure of your visit was all mine though.

I'm not familar with the Eskie. I'll look it up in my Dog Bible.

12:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

That's a healthy attitude, Normiekins, healthy. You strike me as one who enjoys what they are all about.

12:33 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Yes, R.J., Bug does have heart. All of it filled with affection.

Um...he still has his nuts too. I'm thinking about having that fixed but...jaysus...I just haven't been able to bring my myself to make that appointment.

12:39 PM EDT  
Blogger EA Monroe said...

Hi Erik,
Eskie is short for American Eskimo (German Spitz). San's a "circus" dog. I enjoyed the visit!

8:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Thanks, EA. I looked Eskie up in my book last evening. Beautiful dog! What size is yours?

6:50 AM EDT  
Blogger EA Monroe said...

Hey, Erik. San's (sawn) about 15-16 inches, somewhere around 27-28 pounds, and she's everything the breed describes her as being. Well, maybe a lot more tease and busybody. She pokes her nose into the cat's business and has to watch the pill go down the cat's throat. She's a talker (monkey chatter), screams like an excited teenager when you say her favorite words, "Let's go outside!" That's where we're headed now. She won't let me forget going walking. All I have to do is say, "Squirrel!" and she's out the dog/cat door.

7:41 PM EDT  
Blogger R.J. Baker said...

Bug's gonna get the clip. Poor guy. I've resited that, for myself, my whole life. But if it must be done, it must.

I understand your hesitation.

4:05 PM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...

I dunno.
Animals carry a karma.
I know a man who got his dong caught in a car door shortly after he'd castrated his dog.

I'd say leave poor Bug's balls alone, but then I'd probably have a bitch spayed, which, I guess, would make me a chauvinist.

I am a little twisted because I lost one, possibly two balls working for the Toronto Star.
But they hired me back as a singer. LOL.

6:46 PM EDT  

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