Simon looked down

Home in the Walnut Tree

The tiny, young squirells looked out of the doorway of their snug home onto the snow covered world outside.

Early spring in Minnesota is often still a white, cold world.
The snow and cold meant the dangers of ice.
The other danger was just below the branches to their home.

 A medium sized English Boxer named Samantha, was happily bouncing in the drifts, barking and biting at the falling fluffy white stuff.

The four tiny squirrels watched intently as mother lept from the top of the willow tree to a branch of the walnut tree that stretched out, swaying in the breeze.

The branches were all glassy with ice, and little Simon held his little breath and squinched his brown eyes shut as she reached out her front paws to grab.

Hearing his two sisters and one brother cheer, he opened his eyes slowly, one at a time, to see his mother lightly run along the branch and straight to the trunk of the tree.

She came down to the small round doorway where they waited.
'It's a very nice day to come out and play, children' she said, smiling and beckoning to them.
One at a time, carefully and hesitantly, the little ones left the shelter and safety of their warm nest. All that is, except Simon.

He looked out, he slowly stepped out, on all four little feet, then..with a gasp as the wind blew a little breeze, he darted back inside and shivered.

He peered out of the nest and down to the ground, he could see his brother and his two sisters. they were chasing each other round and round the trunk of the tree.

Come on Simon! this is fun!

His Brother, Percy, slightly bigger than Simon, beckoned to him, and called out,"Come on Simon, this is FUN!"

He darted back on the swaying branch, almost fell, slipped sideways and finally fell straight down to the big white snow drift where Samantha dog was busily chewing on a stick.

Sam looked up curiously and tilted her square head off to one side. Percy sat very, very still, buried part way in the snow. Sam sniffed the air, then went back to her stick. Percy scampered back up the tree as quickly as he could, but he hit an ice spot and started to slide back down. When Simon saw this, he yelled, "PERCY!" and began running down the tree trunk.The dog heard his squeaking yell and looked up to see the entire business! Simon reached for his brother, the dog began barking. Mother started running from accross the yard, where she had been digging up some nuts for lunch. Sisters, Begonia and Rose were on the wire that ran across the yard diagonally and couldn't help because they both got so frightened, the ice got the best of them and they were hanging on for dear life. Simon reached down, Percy reached up, the dog rushed to the bottom of the tree right underneath them and Percy fell..tumbling over and over on his long fall! Before Percy hit bottom, the dog caught him in her mouth and Simon shut his eyes tight.

Mother rushed up to the dog. And Simon heard his mothers voice drift upwards..."why, thank you Samantha!" the tinkling sound of mothers laughter made Simons eyes pop open. Up the tree she came, Percy being carried unceremoniously by the scruff of his neck in her teeth. She plopped him down in the nest and all he said was.."YUK! that dogs mouth is full of spit!" Simon and mother laughed and Roger, a small gray colored rat, who was kind of a lodger in their nest, laughed too. "How many younguns has Sammy saved by now?" he asked mother. "Oh Roger..you know how brave some of my babies have been.a bit too brave, but they have to learn sometime." "speaking of that mother squirrel.."he peered out the round doorway.."You have to rescue those two little girls of yourn now too!" He rocked back on his tail and scratched his round stomach.

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