Asleep in our Northern cottage, deep
paced by the murmur of the wood,
wind on lake, I awake startled by
crackles and crashes from the kitchen.
Could Jarret be awake before
seven making breakfast? If I was
conscious I would laugh – number one
son awake? breakfast make? B 4 12?
Back to sleep — crackles, crashes
continue. I rise, bleary, barely alive,
just enough to witness the source—there
perched on the box of peaches, manic,
hurling itself against the plastic
container that holds, clearly, adamantly,
ripe, perfect peaches, is one grey squirrel.
We stare at each other for an instant,
and before I can react, it dives—body
sinuous in flight, flash of white belly
suspended magically mid-air—bounds
table to chair and dives through the open
louvres of the window and exits like a circus
acrobat through a hoop. I feel like I have
just witnessed the latest squirrel super-hero –
the James Bond of the white pine crew –
the bust your ass fearless Northern bro’ —
and I am honoured to witness your daring
escape. There will be another time, I am sure.
Until then, I remain your super-powered,
relentless foe — me and these innocent peaches.

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