The Grump: The Running of the Squirrels

My first guest post from none other than my dad!  I’m so excited to share his writing.   We’ve been encouraging him to post publicly for years!  *smile*  Anyway, here he is!  Originally written February 12th, 2015 but never shared with the public.  Heading photo: the dogs involved.

The laugh of the day came early. I put the two dogs out into the fenced area of the yard about 0630, when it was just above zero. Of course, the hard-frozen deck boards popped loudly when I walked across them.

Turns out that when you spook the squirrels raiding the bird feeder on the other side of the house, they habitually race around the corner of the house, scamper across the deck I’m now standing on, and run up the hill. The deck popping spooked them.

Here comes the first squirrel.

He came sprinting around the corner, just digging for traction and leaning into the turn, and he must have been looking behind, because he sure as shooting wasn’t looking ahead. He’s running flat out, comes under the gate, and across the deck. He’s headed straight towards me, sees me at the last instant, and skids to a stop.

The dogs see this and come charging up onto the deck behind him with a cumulative 170 pounds of mass, huge velocity, and no coordination. The squirrel panics, and instead of turning around and going back the way he came, he ran straight past me. I could have kicked him if I weren’t already laughing too hard. The dogs thunder after him, about run me over, and flail to a halt as he slipped through the deck rail uprights and tried for a new land speed record going up a 40-degree hill.

I’m just roaring with laughter, now, and can barely keep Jacob from jumping the railing and continuing pursuit, probably into another zip code. I’m not worried about Maria doing that – if she were going up that hill, she’d have already have smashed through the uprights and been on her way.

The dogs are still milling about on the icy deck when here comes the *second* squirrel, dumber than the first, following in its tracks. *He* must of been looking back, too, because nothing in its right mind would of come onto that deck.

He came onto the deck, digging in like Jessie Owens.

He raced almost up to me, suddenly saw me – how could he miss a guy six feet tall, nearly 300 pounds, and laughing like a maniac? – skidded to a stop, and started scrambling for the nearest break in the deck railing.

Here come the dogs.

He proved that on a frozen deck, a squirrel can out-accelerate a pair of Malamutes over 12 feet on converging paths… by about 18 inches.

–The Grump

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