My story - Sammy the StreetGames Squirrel
Great-grandfather Stanley, who lived to the ripe old age of 11 – a record in our thicket – used to stroke my fur and regale me with tales of the place I was born. Sadly, I hadn’t cracked my first nut when that old ash tree was torn down by a giant mechanical robot and humans wearing shiny white caps.
They arrived one morning, a fearful din shaking the tree to its core, and we knew it was time to go. We just didn’t know where and how. Mum packed up the few nuts we still had left in our winter store, while Dad scoured the landscape around for a park to which we could move. But great-grandfather Stanley refused to come. He said he had been born in that tree and no human was going to force him to leave. We said our goodbye nuzzles but even then I think I knew it would be the last time I saw great-grandfather Stanley. It was.
So off we went, hiding out in a bush during the day and then moving at night when there were fewer lights of the machines in which the humans sit, although Dad did need to dash back at one point and pick up my twin sister Samantha to save her. We found a park, a tree and a life. But I had never stopped wondering what had become of our old tree, the thicket, the pond, the clearing where I went to squirrel school and the riverbank in which I scrawled an acorn as part of my NVQ (Nut Viewing Quest). And I had always hankered after going back.
Now I’m five and approaching my dotage. It was now or never, especially as the pups upped sticks and nuts a couple of years ago. Thought it would be easy to find, but what an adventure I’ve had. There were too many machines to avoid now. I’d have been squashed before I got halfway, until the other day when the humans came and stood on the road instead of travelling along it in their machines. And then this funny little human with ginger whiskers and little tufts of ginger hair on his head came running along in a white suit carrying a giant golden-coloured ice cream cone that was on fire. All of the other humans were hitting their hands together and shouting at him as he made his way to this huge round building.
I thought: “This is my chance. I’ll follow him into that building.” I did and the place was teeming with people, all hitting their hands together and shouting. I made my way towards the middle, across a curving orange road with lots of white lines on it.
And that’s when I saw it. Staring back at me in the reflection of small pool of water which had a huge metal barrier next to it – my acorn sketch. I knew it was mine from the paw print next to it. I was home.
But what have they done to the place? Where did the thicket go? The pond? The clearing? And the old ash tree? And what happened to great grandfather Stanley?
I have some exploring to do…