[32] Buzz Ripsaw, Ann Graham

Hi. Name’s Rodentia F. Squirrel. Excuse me. I’m not scowlin’ at you. Too much high-fly landin’ between the trash hackberry trees. Yeah, I’m retired. I spend my days on this fat, comfy branch. I try to babysit the youngsters. Kids don’t have a playground since Municipal Electric replaced our tallest trees with these infernal metal poles. Dangerous. A young fella, Chucky, was zapped, not a clue. Short circuit, zip, zap, zip, gone.

See Neighbor over there? He thinks I don’t know that he’s plannin’ to hurl those yellow tennis balls at me. He hates all of us because we have tails, and we get on his fence, his wall. Oh, he wants to be so safe from us. He doesn’t get it. We’re resilient. You gotta be, unless you’re ready to die, bite the dust, meet your maker. You do what you gotta do, or give up, wait for a speedin’ car, then charge across the street. That’s the fastest.

Aw, I saw you flinch. Just bein’ realistic. When you get to be my age, you’ll think the same. I promise.

Oh, told ya. Watch out for the yellow balls. He only has two. Cheap bastard. Come on, let’s go. Duck behind the fence. He’s lazy. He doesn’t like to leave his safe lil’ abode to fetch his balls. That’s how I hurt my hip. The first time he screeched out of that door, I ran up the fence, about to land on a branch when a ball pounded the wood slats. I fell, thought I was dead. My left rotator cuff and hips have hurt since.

We can barely afford this neighborhood. Soon, we’ll have to sublet a branch. Crepes for Creeps and Sushi for Saps move in, rents and taxes skyrocket. We have to move on to the next rundown shit bunch of trash trees. I’m sure enjoyin’ the lovely warmth after such a chilly night? Twenty-eight degrees the Weather Channel showed. I can see the weather map on Neighbor’s big ass television.

Crap, Neighbor’s carryin’ his buzz ripsaw. My wife was buildin’ a nest in the oak tree. He cut off the branches. What a dumb shit! Damn near wrecked the whole tree. Insects invaded, lost shade, and decreased its stability. I can’t hear. It’s too loud. I’m tired of screamin’ over his power tools. Oh, no, now he’s cuttin’ my branch. Bye. I’m outta here.





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