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Got Any Nuts?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Furika Fierce needs the one thing she’s squirreled away for months.

Submitted: October 07, 2018

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Submitted: October 07, 2018

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Acorn season’s got its perks if you ain’t rushing around bat-crap frantic like I am. I skitter up the tree and into my hole, my jaw dropping at what I don’t see.

That lying no good cheat stole my stash! Left me for that mold-digging street skunk when I’ve got four busy mouths to feed.

“Mom.” Beet, my eldest, peeks up from our nest of leaves, his three younger brothers waking beside him. “I’m starving.”

“Me too!” The middle triplet, Pip adds.

Great. Make this mess messier why don’t ya. I huff. “Your bellies ain’t goin’ empty in my tree-hole.”

I saunter to our tiny rock stove, snatch a twig and slop out the final bowl drippings into the boy’s pine cone cups.

“Ewww.” Pip peers at the cups. “Grass stew, again.”

“Yeah, again. We ain’t house pets. We work for our food.”

“Uh, mom? Mom!”

I whip my focus to Beet and suddenly feel awful for chewing the kids out.

“Our corns.” Beet gawks at the empty space where our stash was. “Where’d they go?”

Question of the year. “Funny problem. One I’m gonna sort out.” Believe me, this mom’s a fixer. I hand them the cups of grass sludge.

Beet takes one look and sticks out his tongue. The others plug their noses.

I shake my finger at them. “Stop your grumbling and be thankful. Eat.”

They slurp the stew, my breath hissing from my furry nose. It’s official. I’m past pissed. Call me a hot-headed hoodlum.

“Beet, watch your brothers.” I say. “Gotta go out.”

“No fair.” Beet crosses his arms. “Dad and I have plans.”

“About that.”

 Beet’s shoulders sag. “Dad canceled, didn’t he? Knew he’d do it. Broke his promise.”

“Well...” I’d bash their deadbeat daddy but I don’t wanna hurt Beet more.

He turns away from me, angry. And who can blame him? Almost fully grown and his dad’s bailed on him more times than I can count.

“Just go mom. I got the triplets.”

They pounce on each other, giggling and rolling around in our nest; carefree and beautiful. My boys, I’m gonna provide for them no matter what. Understand? This mad-tailed squirrel’s on a mad hunt. Gonna catch me that two-timing Gnawer, pry my nuts from his thieving claws and rip out his ugly teeth. I fast-paw it down to the base of the trunk and frown.

Shantail, my neighbor, she’s got a stock-pile of acorns a mile high and line of squirrels out her tree-hole just as long.

“Get yer corns here before the white-dirt starts swirling.” She waves one of her pristine acorns in front of the growing crowd. They ‘oh’ and ‘ah’ while more squirrels, descending the leaf-littered hill, shuffle into line.

“Ya know ya want some!” She sweeps her paw over her mountainous stash prouder than a raccoon spilling over a garbage bin. “Three pumpkin seeds for a half-dozen.”

Pumpkin seeds? This late in November? Who the heck has them? All these uppity snoots do. That’s who.

Look at this hipster squirrel. With his curly ear tufts, he parades his pawful of pumpkin seeds toward Shantail, flashing his mold-plated teeth.

Teeth that probably cost him two half-ton stashes. Talk about unfair. I can’t even get two corns to rub together. Let alone mold-plated teeth. 

I hurry forward, Shantail’s snide customers side-glancing me. One, with a bushy red tail, tilts her fleshy backside up and farts in my face.

“Hey nasty.” I crinkle my nose. “Point your stinky butt down.”

She tosses a glare my way, her pink-dyed whiskers twitching.

“Yeah, you, sista. You heard what I said.”

“Heard nothin’, grass trash. Bug someone else.” She flicks her tail like that barren branch shaking overhead as a gust of wind hits.

A flurry of leaves follow, dumping atop me. Gah! I crawl out from under them and bump into someone’s leg.

“Get off.” A squirrel stubs my cheek.

“Owww.” I yell so loudly that tons of eyes dart my way, including Shantail’s.

“I ain’t a charity, Furika. No seeds. No service.” She gives six acorns to the next paying squirrel who passes her a pumpkin seed. She nibbles on it, my paw muscles twitching when she sneers me down. “Move your tick-bitten hide.”

“Go choke on your payment.” I leap to my hind legs.

“Wow. Jealousy sure paints you hideous.” Shantail snaps. “No wonder Gnawer left you.”

“Savage.”

“Bet he couldn’t wait for his zoocation.”

Zoocation? As in that posh safari cruise so exclusive he’d have to spend my entire stash to — Oh nutters! No he didn’t! Forget about Shantail I’ve got bigger tails to snatch.

I hoof-it up that hill and down the other side. The sun-spotted skyscrapers, looming over Central Park Lake, ripple like cracked glass. Above the lake, a gaggle of geese beak-dive for the frosty water honking louder than a dozen New York taxis on Time’s Square.

They flock toward a human who’s tossing out bits of bread quicker than those hysterical birds can snag ‘em. See ‘em? Might be me in a few months, begging geese-style for  toasty-treats, if I don’t reach that cruise and reclaim my nuts. Gnawer better have ‘em or his measly life is done.

Done with a capital D.  I scamper down a sidewalk past a few humans and a tiny dog yapping at my heels. Sheesh, peeps, bring home a quieter pet. A squirrel perhaps?

Good idea, Furika. If my plan turns south, that’s what I’ll do? Get some sappy human to take us in and feed us their slimy scraps. Unless they don’t consider me tiny-yapping-dog-cute. Use your noggin, humans. Dogs drool. Squirrels rule!

I exit the path, speed between two food trucks. Passing a street-hogging horse, I cross to Central Park Zoo exactly where that cruise starts.

That nabbing Gnawer better hide. He’s gonna feel a whole lot of pain when I get my paws on him. I high-tail it past a group of humans, their man-child toddling after me like a half-drunken badger. Get that scary squealing thing away from me. I up my pace around five trees and near that pool of staring sea lions.

“Run forest run.” A sea lion, lounging on a giant rock, shouts after me.

Another claps his flippers. “Squirrel girl on a mission!”

A third swims to the edge of the glass then jumps outta of the water, joining the others on the rock, distracting me enough I trip. I slam ear-first into a concession stand.

The sea lions hunker over laughing.

“Best excitement of the day.” One jabbers.

“Yeah,” The second adds. “Give her a medal.”

“Darn straight.” The third one hi-fives the others. “Award her as most clutzerrific.”

“Award yourself.” I scramble to my feet but my toe catches on a piece of gum. Can’t release myself no matter how much I pull.

The sea lions laugh harder.

“Way to make our day.” The clapping sea lion pats another one’s back.

Stupid sea lions. I finally yank free and dash away, annoyed by their continuous laugher.

Won’t let those brainless sacks of blubber unhinge me. I gain speed through an empty trail of trees, staying on that path for over ten minutes before I swerve left for the main pond where a beaver lady ushers a horde of squirrels onto a long log raft.

The squirrels chatter excitedly.

Some jump on the raft and fist pump the beaver. Others twerk to that Get Your Corn On song blaring from a nearby tree stump. Geez, someone installed speakers there? Unbelievable. Cray, cray squirrels. They’re sprinkling pumpkin seeds on each other as if seeds are going outta style. Seriously, who are these snoots, the flippin’ squirrel-eh-fethers?

I search the crowd and spot Gnawer, sporting cornglasses and a small pinecone hat. He links arms with two skinny street skunks.

“Never met a bushy tail I didn’t like.” He slurs, obviously drunk. Staggering forward, he kisses one skunk full on the mouth, sounding as if a cow’s chomping metal while spitting all over the place.

Gross

The other skunk squeezes against his side. “What about me?”

He turns and gapes at her. “Nope. Like this one better.”

Typical Gnawer, treating girls like disposable candy-corn-cups. Shoulda never married him. Never allowed him to knock me up.

I storm for that good-for-nothing lout and grab him by the ears.

A ton of squirrels gasp. His skunk side pieces covering their mouths, I drag him from the boat.

“How’d you find me?” He tries to beat me off him.

I boot him to the grass. “Shantail. Who else? Lying Gnawer.” I press my foot to his gut, restraining him as he thrashes. “Give me my nuts or I yank yours off.”

He trembles, throwing a glance from me to the skunk girls.

One traipses off the boat, planting her paw on her furry hip. “Shoulda known you were bad news. Stealin’ from you ex when you got four babies at home. How could you, Gnawer?”

He stammers. “Wasn’t thinking.”

“Sure you were thinking. Thinking with one thing.” I stomp on his groin.

He hollers, grabbing himself. “Furika, please. Your nuts are gone. Promise!”

“Oh, I know ‘bout your promises. Ask Beet. Bailing on him for the umpteenth time. What kind of father steals food from his babies.” I dig my claws into his groin. He hollers louder, the entire raft-load of squirrels gaping our way. “This mad mama’s getting her nuts even if I have to to skin you alive.”

“Hold up, sista.” The beaver lady climbs off the boat. Traipsing our way, she scowls at Gnawer. “Heard what you did, foul father. Hussy hustler. Lowest of the low. Ain’t floating your reeking butt on my raft for the next week. In fact, I’m feeling feisty. And bit generous too.” She hands me a piece of tree bark with four hundred strokes scratched into it. “Take this. Buy your stash back and take care your kids.”

“What ‘bout me?” Gnawer cries on the ground.

“Cry your skunks a river.” I snort.

“He ain’t crying me nothin’” One of the skunks, snubs her chin up and ditches him.

The other skunk bats her eye lashes at a squirrel who’s grinning from the raft. She joins him.

Well that’s hilarious.

“Not even your skunks want you now.” I skitter away happily, waving bye to him. “Call me never!”

Never had a wackier acorn season; a season to remember that’s for sure. Wouldn’t trade it for anything in this whole big city cause my boys got their mold-plated lining and so did I.

 

 

 

 

 

 



© Copyright 2018 Joy Shaw. All rights reserved.

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