[This post was originally presented to a smaller audience on September 20th, 2016. A few days later squirrels hacked my blog and posted it to a wider audience. Squirrels understand that information, like bullshit, wants to be free.]
A few hours later, the sun was up and Mr. Curmudgeon was poking at the soil in his driveway. “The tracks are amazing!” Mr. Curmudgeon was lamesplaining to his long-suffering wife. “They confuse the hell out of me.” Mr. Curmudgeon loved a mystery. Mr. Curmudgeon wasn’t much of a tracker so virtually any track was mysterious to him.
“We know there was hawk here last night. So coyote footprints nearby seem rather self-explanatory. And I suspect these claw marks in the soil could be from talons dragging in the dirt. But there are no feathers.”
Mrs. Curmudgeon sighed, she had to get to work. How was that going to happen if her husband was pretending to be Marlin Perkins?
“So the hawk’s talons scratching the ground indicate it was still alive. If the coyote took away a live hawk, even if it couldn’t fly, there would be a struggle. Why are there no feathers?” He was crawling on his hands and knees now. “I suppose the squirrel tracks are completely random but where did the fishing line come from?”
Mary and Terry watched with glee. Nothing makes a squirrel happier than outwitting someone. In one night they’d chased a coyote, captured a hawk, and baffled a human.
They were watching from the top of an oak (an oak with Wi-Fi). Nestled in a crevice 10 feet below them, where the foliage completely obscured him, they had a hawk secured. It was upside down, bound, gagged, and depressed.
Discovering him had been a lucky stroke but securing him was all skill and they were proud of themselves. They’d leave him hanging a few more hours and by then he’d be ready for the next phase of their plan.
Mr. Curmudgeon scratched his head and got in the car. He spent the rest of the day formulating a theory involving camera flashes and squirrels.