gray squirrel

Sun shimmers in the treetops while rain still drips from the roof. A squirrel climbs a walnut tree carrying a walnut, as if in some proverb.

Clear and cold. A squirrel trots into the woods with the green globe of a walnut clenched in its teeth. The oleaginous burble of a wren.

Too dark to identify the small birds darting through the forest canopy. A walnut dislodged by a squirrel thumps hard against the ground.

The sky darkens, squirrels and jays scold an unseen threat, a pileated woodpecker makes a histrionic exit. Then nothing. The sky brightens.

Rain. A squirrel crouches atop a maple burl, gray fur almost invisible against the gray bark, curled tail like a snake poised to strike.