Has it ever crossed your mind what it might be like to be a squirrel, not just any squirrel, but the quintessential, Hope College squirrel? I may have thought about it once or twice…
“Code Red! Code Orange! Code Yellow!”
“There goes Barry again,” I said.
“Well, he does have a point, Greg,” Brenda replied.
“The leaves are changing AND starting to fall! You know what that means–soon that white wet stuff will be falling instead!”
“But does he have to go about it like that?” I gestured towards his tree along the path through the pine grove. He scrambles back and forth along the branch, barking away, annoying the rest of us with his weather report, and drawing the gaze of a couple passing students with his antics.
“Gather all your nuts and grass, build up your nest and forage the trash!”
At that Barry’s neighbor, Bernie, raced up the tree barking unmentionables then chased him round and round the trunk till Barry accepted defeat and scurried to the ground. He then began the journey to the trash can by the chapel pausing between leaps and bounds to check out his surroundings for anything that might be beneficial for his winter stockpile.
“He does it because he cares,” Brenda rationalized, “He just wants everyone to be ready.”
“Yeah, well he doesn’t have to be such a know it all,” grumbled Bernie as he made his way back to his own gathering efforts.“We all know what to do.”
It’s true. We all know the drill. The students have been back on campus for about a month now. The weather has slowly cooled, they fill up the pine grove with their blankets and hammocks every nice and sunny day we get. The tops of the trees are beginning their shift from green to shades of red and orange and yellow. Everyone is beginning their stockpiling in earnest. Running about here and there with everything they find and hiding it here and there determined that they will remember where every single piece is this year. Whether or not they do, we’ll all be ready and more than prepared. It’s what we were made to do.
The bell tower tolls and a few minutes later students begin filling the sidewalks after classes. Barry picks this opportune moment to hop out of that trash can scaring not one, but two unsuspecting humans in the process.
“Nice one, Barry!” I commend him, hoping he wasn’t upset by Bernie’s grouchiness.
“Thanks, Greg—you’ve got some catching up to do,” he gloats. He is currently ahead in our running tally of trash can scares this year–for now. Clearly he didn’t let Bernie get to him. He bounds off with his find, a nice half of an apple, and disappears into the bushes by Graves.
“Fore!” some human shouts as one of those plastic discs they toss all over the place lands in the grass a few feet from me. I launch over to the nearest tree and take a look at it from above. Mhmm, just as I expected—one of the Super Squirrel discs. They love us here. So much so that they put a super hero version of us on their favorite game! And they even made a very nice memorial for Bernie’s uncle’s friend over by Phelps.
It’s a lovely place, Hope College. Good squirrels. Good humans. Good acorns and trash pickings. Lots of nice trees and bushes. The perfect place to call home.
Thanks for reading!
-Avid Hope College Squirrel Fan