It was a warm
summer day in Cartersville. The sun glistened on the emerald leaves of the dogwood trees
lining my yard. A warm breeze lifted, making the trees wave and sing their summer song.
Next door, the neighbor was mowing his yard for the second time that week. I settled into
my favorite patio chair, a thick book tucked into the crook of my arm. I opened the book
and began to read, immediately becoming absorbed in the language of a story. Suddenly,
violence broke the serenity of the day. I looked up, searching for the source of the
commotion. My eyes were drawn into the top of an aging and twisted oak that grew mightily
at the side of my yard. I didnít know it at the time, but I was watching the beginnings
of the Squirrel Mafia, a gang of rodents that will strike fear into the hearts of rodents
for generations to come. |
As I watched, gangs of large squirrels scrambled
down the trunk of the oak. A much larger squirrel led them; a squirrel I can only assume
was the godfather. Suddenly a smaller squirrel climbed the tree and met with this vicious
gang. I could see its small, brown body tremble with fear as the gang slowly approached
him. Then all at once, the gang jumped on him and began beating the snot out of that
little squirrel. They all tumbled en masse to the ground, where they continued to abuse
the little squirrel. The godfather squirrel supervised the beating, his beady black eyes
gleaming brutally. Then the gang removed themselves from the little squirrel and joined
their godfather. The little squirrel staggered to his feet. The godfather made a loud
chattering sound and all the squirrels, including the little squirrel, ran back up the
tree. Ah, I thought, so this is the mafia initiation. The squirrel mafia initiated a few
more squirrels into their gang, and after that the real mayhem began.
The squirrel hit man was the first to become identifiable. He was a lean, ragged-looking
rodent, his tail short and droopy, his fur matted and patchy. He slunk from branch to
branch, seeking his mark. Once in awhile he would disappear into a leafy branch. Birds
would suddenly raise a racket, flying off in every direction. Then a blue jay would drop
to the grass with a dull thud, and lay there stunned for several moments. Soon after the
blue jay hit the ground, a nest would fall in wispy clumps followed by two or three eggs.
The eggs splattered hideously as they landed around their helpless parent. Eventually the
blue jay would get up, and let out a little birdie cry. Then it would be off, its home in
Meanwhile, the heaveys began to stalk the chipmunks and finches.
They traveled in groups, and spent their time roaming across the yard and pouncing upon
hapless chipmunks and small birds. They collected tribute from these animals, and sent
smaller squirrels off towards the oak tree with their cheeks stuffed full of nuts and
various other stuff.
The Squirrel Mafia had a gambling racket too.
Acorns dropped from the oak tree, and a collection of chipmunks, birds and squirrels
chattered and chirped as a pair of scrawny mice ran for them as fast as they could. The
winning mouse would return to much celebration, while the looser was knocked to the
ground from the top of the oak tree.
I can only imagine what the
Squirrel Mafia has in store for the future. Surely the neighborhood will go bad. I expect
to see strung out chipmunk and blue jay prostitutes turning tricks on my front lawn.
Certainly thefts will become more frequent. There will be a day when I will come home to
find all my candy stolen from the dishes and my husband's favorite mixed nuts heisted.
Kidnapping will have to be dealt with. After all, whatís to stop the Squirrel Mafia from
kidnapping my childrenís beanie babies and holding them for a kingís ransom in
pistachios? What will I do when these conniving little rodents start flinging themselves
at my windows in an attempt to vandalize my home? How worried should I be on the day I
wake up to find a decapitated Eeyore head in my bed?
As the days pass,
the Squirrel Mafiaís power grows. My yard will never be the same. There is no happy
chatter between the birds. The chipmunks can no longer dig holes in the flowerbed without
fear. Above it all, high in the oak tree, the Squirrel godfather reigns supreme.