Inside The Mind Of A Squirrel (Part 10)

Fear. Frustration. Confusion. Despair.


Buck sizes up the beast before him and trembles in the body he resides, painfully aware of how tiny and insignificant he is against this posed threat. He curses that woman for making a mockery of his form and hopes he does not die in this dismal state. He briefly contemplates the funeral arrangements that may be necessary, but is yanked from his daydreams of a teeny squirrel tombstone with the renewed howling of the wolf. Shaking off his worries for another time, he dashes forward beneath the creature’s legs.

With his newfound senses, Buck picks up a scent and blindly chases after it through the snow squall. Cinnamon? Paprika? He cannot clearly distinguish it with a label, but it is strong and close. The smell is practically inviting him to follow it, which he pursues like a cartoonish trail wafting through the air. His little heart pounds so quickly he wonders if it will split through his chest. His tail seems to be doing its own tail things, wagging this way and that, propelling him onward without too much thinking on his part.

The soft thudding behind Buck suggests to him the wolf is relentless and in need of a squirrel snack. Buck quickens his pace. His legs are already aching, but his desire to live another day keeps him going.

What feels like days, or perhaps mere minutes, pass. Soon, Buck arrives at the mouth of a cave. A tickling in his brain, likely sent in by some magical thought transmission from that pesky woman, signals to him that he has already reached the top of the mountain. Right near the entrance, there appears to be an ordinary cherry red cereal box with no brand name sitting prettily on display atop a picnic blanket.

Buck warily turns around to catch a glimpse of his pursuer, but to his astonishment there are no stupendous different-colored eyes staring back at him. His ear twitches and he catches wind of a whimper growing further away. Has the beast run off? Good! But, what would scare a wolf like that?

A roaring deep within the cave quells his budding question. Heeding his earlier thought, Buck dives at the box to topple it onto its side and uses his scrawny legs to kick off the ground and push it forward. If he can just get it to the edge of the mountain, he should be able to ride it like a sled all the way down.

*THWACK* A stinging brutal force sends Buck careening through the air and the box flying in the opposite direction. Buck face-plants into the snow with only his tail twitching visibly in surrender. The paw that swipes at him draws back and the rest of this new beast rises up out of the icy shadows. A terrifying mass of white, with a grizzly demeanor and garish teeth, lumbers over to Buck. He squeaks.

Digging himself out of the snow, Buck glances up at the polar bear. Buck is frozen, from inaction and the cold, until Elixane pops into his mind. With renewed vigor, Buck digs around the bear and follows the odor of the box like a lifeline. Was it lavender now? It does not matter. The bear cries out. Buck runs on.

Reaching the box, Buck notices that it took quite a beating from the bear. It is battered and spilling out its contents, tiny flecks of some grey, and likely edible, substance. Still works. Buck belly flops onto the box with enough force to tip it over the edge of the mountain and sends it whooshing downward.

The wolf reappears. Spotting Buck, he lunges to snap at him with his teeth, the goal being a swift and flawless decapitation, but he misses and tumbles over his own legs. In a wide-eyed panic, the wolf finds himself rolling down the side of the mountain growing more entombed in an ever-expanding snowball.

Buck grins.

Although, the bear is still a problem. He is wiser, more careful and calculating than the measly wolf.

Far behind Buck, the bear retreats into his cave and heaves out a pair of massive shabby boots and a mammoth-sized board with a grunt from a pile of his overflowing hoard of knick-knack treasures. With surprisingly dexterous paws, having done this countless times before, he throws down his board, hops on, does up his bindings and starts expertly carving through the snow. He makes up the distance in virtually no time and in a moment he is already tailing Buck, spelling the end for this poor squirrel.

Buck senses this pursuit and desperately wants to wake from this seemingly never-ending fever dream.

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