University of Saint Mary’s resident squirrel
By Michael Amado
Fall is quickly approaching in the Midwest. Soon the landscape will be filled with warm colors as the leaves change for the new season. In case you didn’t know, trees lose leaves and seeds as a preparation for winter. Winter is long, frigid and nothing short of miserable. As the land becomes infested with tree droppings, some species take advantage of this annual event.
Trees are not the only lifeform participating in winter preparations. All over campus, there are fuzzy creatures who steal, scratch and bite their neighbors. It’s a frenzy with no boundaries, and only the strong survive. This story is about a survivor, a squirrel named Heavy Hitta’ Henry.
As for Heavy Hitta’ Henry, the name speaks for itself. This squirrel is bigger than the rest of the scurry because of his will to survive. Henry moves in silence, ransacking his neighbors and defending his fort. God forbid he catches another squirrel in his nest, it would be a terrible mistake for the intruder. Early morning, near the baseball field press box, Henry has a honey hole stocked for the winter. He is not the only squirrel who can loot either. Among him are others with pups. If food isn’t stored for the winter, the chances of seeing spring become slim to none.
On this particular day, Heavy Hitta Henry is hard at work searching the forest floor for a nut. Success was prevalent as several trips were made to his personal storage units buried in the ground. As Henry is approaching the gazebo on top of the hill, he notices a neighbor lurking near his territory. A quick burst to his area comes to an abrupt stop as they stare. No one moves, the intensity rises and the first to make move will set off a fuse. Henry moves his head and it’s game time! Our thief grabs a small two squirrel-sized handfuls of dirt to launch at Henry but it’s no use as he plows right through the dust. Emotions run high as the squirrels exchange punches, kicks, and flying dirt. One last swipe to the intruder and he flees in the realization that he just got served by Heavy Hitta’ Henry.
I’m sure there is always a young buck who thinks they can size up Henry, but I doubt few taste success. Squirrels have been rumored to ‘fight-to-the-death’ in some cases and today’s intruder almost become a statistic in squirrel history. As noon approaches, Henry resides in his comfortable mansion of a nest, taking advantage of the moment of peace between his neighbors. As the day turns to night, tomorrow morning will begin the process all over again. Heavy Hitta’ Henry will have another day to prove his status of being an absolute savage.
Michael Amado is a senior at the University of Saint Mary in the Digital Communications program.