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bazz cargo
December 14th, 2011, 11:21 PM
Nutters.


There was a rustle as something bustled about beneath the carpet of leaves. Up popped the head of Spin, her sharp eyes keeping watch for Trouble. Yes, there he was, running down the wall of the old folly. “Hoi, Trouble.”
He stopped. “Zat you Spin?”
“No, I'm a field mouse.”
“Very funny.” He jumped the last few feet and landed in a leaf explosion.
“Hey, careful, you're disturbing my piles.”
“Tough. I'm off to the strange clearings, see what's on the weird trees.”
“Everyday you go there, and everyday you risk your life.”
“But it's worth it. Lovely stuff on those weird trees.”
“And what about the cats and dogs... and hawks.”
“There was a lovely pair of Great tits dancing about one of them yesterday.”
“There is no fool bigger than a dead squirrel.”
“Maybe, but it's your turn to keep an eye on Grand Paw.” And with that, Trouble bounced away.


Grand Paw was old.
“Iz that you Spin?”
“Yeah, Troubles off to the weird trees, so I get a shift at watching you sleep.”
“Don't feel sleepy.”
“What do you want to do, tell me about the Nut Lore?”
“No, you've heard me so often, I spect you could tell me better than I could tell you.”
“Yeah; a nut never falls far from the tree.”
“Where's Trouble?”
“Weird trees.”
“I swear the stuff he finds on those trees is doing him no good.”
Spin smiled. “I don't like what it's doing to his digestive system.”
“You don't! The smell will be what kills me.”
“At least it will keep the nest warm.”
“What a way to spend winter, warm and smelly.”
“Close your eyes and count your nuts.”
Grand Paw smiled. “Long ago, before the strange clearings, there was a forest of hazelnut trees. Now so few are left.”
“Then dream of hazel nuts.”


Spin sat and watched the old one sleep. An age, a while and some more time passed.


“Hey Spin,” whispered Trouble.
Spin turned from her task. “What now?”
“Fancy a little break?”
“A very short one.”
“Come outside and see the sunset.”


They sat side by side high in the tree. Spin gave a little sigh. “It's beautiful.”
“Red sky at night, sheepdog's delight. Red sky in the morning, more cows burning.”
“You have no romance in your soul.”
“Nope. Hey, what has a hazel nut in every bite?”
“What?”
Trouble leapt from the branch, legs spread, tail fluttering. He was aiming for the biggest drift of leaves, for the most spectacular landing. His voice dopplered away. “Squirrel droppings.”


Coda


As far as Spin could see, squirrels filled the trees. Family, friends and respected members of neighbouring clans. All quiet, waiting.


Pop was standing beside Feather, in front of them was Trouble. Pop put his paws on Trouble's shoulders and leaned down to talk face to face. “This is your moment son. Make us proud.”


Trouble took a few steps forward, stood up straight, and took a deep breath. “To each of us comes four seasons: Youthful Spring, contented Summer, Autumn's wisdom, and Winter's sleep.”
Trouble spread his paws to the tree top. “We have buried his shell,/beneath the tree./His eternal Kernel,/is now set free.”


Slowly, and in turn, small groups of squirrels came up to Pop, each silently making the hand across the heart and nod of the head gesture of respect.


Spin was very sad, and very proud, her Pop was going to be the next Grand Paw.


Notes

The prompt was Autumn.
I put the story during the season. I added Grand Paw, in his Autumn years.
I tried anthropomorphising squirrels as an experiment after reading Moderans 'Watch the Birdie.'
I apologise for the bad puns.

Potty
January 22nd, 2012, 08:51 PM
This was good but confusing in places!

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He stopped. “Zat you Spin?”
“No, I'm a field mouse.”

Here I had to re-read several times to make sense of it. At first I thought "Zat you spin" was some sort of pun and that "I'm a field mouse." was the truth, it wasn't until I got further into the story that I realised spin was being sarcastic. A much more understandable way to put it would be:

"Is that you spin?"
"No, its an over sized talking field mouse. Who do you think it is?" Said the squirrel.

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“And what about the cats and dogs... and hawks.”
“There was a lovely pair of Great tits dancing about one of them yesterday.”

Who doesn't love a pair of great tits?! but again I found this so confusing it took me out of the story. Why was it relevant to mention the tits dancing around a cat/dog/hawk? After a couple of re-reads it felt like the line was put in just for the chance to say great tits!

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“Where'sTrouble?”
“Weird trees.”

You already told Grand Paw where trouble was on the third line.

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“You don't! The smell will be what kills me.”

Question mark instead of exclamation after "don't" would make it read a little better.

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“Close your eyes and count your nuts.”

is this a play on "counting sheep?" coz at first I thought he was being rude!

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"what has a hazel nut in every bite?”
“Squirrel droppings.”

I don't get it. :oops:

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"His eternal Kernel"

I loved loved loved this line! I think the whole sentence could be shorted to "We buried his eternal kernel." Its so good I would consider having it on my gravestone if you wouldn't sue me for plagiarism in the after life.



Overall I read right through to the end which is rare for me so I must have enjoyed it! It took me a while to realise we were looking through the eyes of a squirrell though.


Thanks for the post!

bazz cargo
January 22nd, 2012, 10:10 PM
Hi Potty,
I'm super pleased to meet you.
Your points have merit, and when I rewrite this, with a bit of expansion, they will help me no end.
Thank you for reading it and helping me.
Much appreciated.
Bazz.

Mr mitchell
January 24th, 2012, 11:18 PM
Hello Bazz, I found it amusing but at times, I was confuse. Let me show you this line, Spin sat and watched the old one sleep. An age, a while and some more time passed. I was like what? It was crazy really. It was nicely written through but someimes, I've be thinking, there need to be some explaintion of what happening. It is still a good homour piece but it needed something much more strong - that what I think.


Fancy a little break?” Love that line and it worked wonderfully.
Hope I helped in a way.

Mr M

The Backward OX
January 29th, 2012, 02:36 AM
Itís funny Ė now donít start becoming too puffed up, I was going to say, itís funny, here I am needing something to cheer me up after some earlier trouble with my bowels, and next thing Iím reading the line ďHey, careful, your'e (sic) disturbing my piles,Ē and Iím falling about laughing. So the line both cheered me up and was a coincidence Ė itís funnyÖoh, never mind.

bazz cargo
January 29th, 2012, 01:24 PM
Hi Xo,
Thanks for the typo spotting. My old eyes aint what they used to be.

A good laugh won't cure you but it's better than a sharp stick poked into a sensitive spot.

I'm thinking of doing more wildlife documentaries. Moderan started something.

Hi Mr M,
I swear I already said thanks for your help, but the post seems to have disappeared. Gremlins or dementia?