Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Jacob and the Pecans"
             Winter was quickly approaching, and large flocks of birds started flying south for warmer climates.  At times, the birds would look like dark blots of black ink as they smeared themselves across the cold gray sky, there one moment gone the next.
Jacob knew that tonight was going to be dangerous. The winds had already begun to howl as the tip of the northern front was soon upon them. His pregnant wife Yvette could also sense the danger as she sat in her chair, covered by the quilt her grandmother had made for her when Yvette was just a child.
Jacob was preparing himself for this confrontation with Mother Nature, this battle with the elements.  He knew that without food, he, his wife, and the rest of their clan would surely starve this winter, and so, he prepared.
The meteorologists had predicted a brutal assault from Mother Nature this winter with temperatures well below the freezing mark, ice and snow throughout the countryside.  They warned everyone to take extra care and the necessary precautions needed to survive the upcoming winter.
It was not only Mother Nature’s fury that Jacob had to fear, it was the ever-threatening claws and fangs of Venus, the mean and vicious calico cat that made this night doubly treacherous.  Even on this freezing cold and gloomy night, Jacob knew that Venus was on the prowl, as she is most every night, eager for an easy meal. The matted spots of orange, black, yellow and red on Venus’ fur would be lost in the dark, but it was the minimum of light that reflected off of her needle-like claws that gave her away at night and the danger was; if one saw the light reflected, it was too late!
Yvette withdrew herself from the warm comfort of her quilt and quietly walked behind Jacob.  Wrapping her arms around him and softly whispering in his ear, “Be careful Jacob, please be careful.”  Jacob patted her arm and whispered back, “I will Yvette, I will.”  With a look of complete love and tenderness, Jacob kissed Yvette and ventured out into the cold dark danger that awaited him.
The winds had picked up speed like a runaway train, and the howls the winds made as they whistled through the branches of the old oak trees and any other place the winds could not be stopped, was quite frightening.  It sounded like the painful cries of the Tasmanian devil, lost and foreshadowing a warning: stay inside!  Jacob knew that tonight was the night the survival of he; his wife and the rest of their clan would be determined.
 Jacob, his wife and the rest of his clan are squirrels living amongst the patches of gigantic oak trees at the edge of the forest and just outside of where the human’s live.  It was there at the homes of these two-legged walkers where the treasure trove of pecans lay.  Hundreds and hundreds of them bunched together in the large wicker baskets inside the human’s greenhouse.  Not only was this the place of the pecans, it was also the place of Venus’ home!
Make no mistake about it: On this night, Jacob was scared!  Venus has the reputation, just as Mother Nature at times has the reputation of taking no prisoners and showing no mercy, especially on this freezing cold and blustery night.
To be continued...
© 2010 Rennie Murrell

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