NaNoWriMo 2021 Uncategorized

No. Twenty-one.

Eulekatze Farm had a lot of trees, but most would do well to hit more than a couple of dozen feet in height with branches that didn’t branch out terribly far. To say they provided shade was only half correct: They provided shade to the lawns beneath them but not to the houses on the lots where each courtesy trio of trees were planted. Consequently, the roofs of each house baked in the near-year-round sunshine, which also made them prime real estate for solar panels—and a lot of homes here had solar panels installed. Unfortunately, one side effect of solar panels were mass assemblages of pigeons which housed beneath the solar panels year-round. Only a few homes had the special netting installed around the solar panels to keep this scourge of the sky out, and the homes around Cody’s people’s house were not included in the handful of pigeon-keeper-outer netting. Which is why Cody and his squirrel friend suddenly found themselves besieged by some either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid pigeons that were after the half-doughnut Cody had shunned.

“CHIRP-CHIRP-CHIRP!” screamed the squirrel as it hopped off the ground to the relative safety of nearby tree trunk. Get off squirrel’s doughnut!

Cody was far less diplomatic, letting loose eons of evolution: His face tightened into a hiss-cum-growl, while his back arched and the hair stood out, claws already extended as he pounced onto the plumpest of the pigeons attempting to grip the hunk of doughnut in its stub of a beak.

The pigeon didn’t seem to know what hit it—indeed, as a suburban pigeon in a city which had a pretty strict “no outdoor cats” rule, the pigeon had never encountered a cat, especially one with as sharp of instincts or claws as Cody—as it found itself swiped and smacked hard against the wooden plank fence separating one postage stamp of a yard from another.

Stunned, the pigeon remembered it could fly and attempted to do so, but Cody was too quick: He tackled and rolled with the bird, hissing and growling noises that surprised and scared him almost as much as it did the pigeon caught in the grip of his claws.

The doughnut has fallen back to the ground, where the smaller pigeon of the duo that had the audacity to come between a cat and squirrel engaged in civil discourse in order to attempt to abscond half of a doughnut. It almost couldn’t believe its luck, making for the hunk of pastry when its line of sight to the doughnut was disturbed by the most crazed looking of squirrels the pigeon had ever beheld—or heard.

“CHIRP-CHIRP!” shouted the squirrel, its eyes locked on the pigeon, ready to pounce.

(And then what, it didn’t know. The squirrel just knew that some ridiculous and annoying excuse for a bird was not getting away from the half-doughnut it had traveled so far and worked so hard to bring back to the cat. The cat’s refusal and seeming indifference to the doughnut was irrelevant; it was the principle of the matter.)

The pigeon took the hint and took flight, leaving its plumper companion behind to tussle with the cat. But the noise the cat was making caused an abrupt ending to the skirmish, as Cody’s person came running out of the house, waving a broom.

“Go on—shoo!” the person bellowed, swinging the broom down hard.

The larger pigeon was knocked free from the grip and hold Cody had on it and immediately took to the air, seeking sanctuary from the crazed inhabitants of the yard. It had managed only a crumb of the doughnut; the rest lay on the grass, not far from where it was originally when all of the brouhaha had begun.

The squirrel had hopped onto the fence and into the safety of a nearby tree where it could watch the decline of things, including its own hopes that it was going to get to enjoy the half of the half of the doughnut, regifted to the squirrel from the cat that had eschewed it from the squirrel.

“What on earth was all of that about, Cody?” inquired the person, panting for breath. Apparently, breaking up melees between cats and birds was exhausting work. “Really, you have been acting mighty strange the past few days. I wish I knew what’s gotten into you. Huh, what’s this?” The person had seen the doughnut.

Cody’s eyes went large, his composure regained almost as quickly as he had lost it when the pigeons had landed in a fit of feather and cooing. He scampered up to the person as he leaned down with arm outstretched towards the doughnut and rubbed against it, as though in desperate plea for affection.

“Oh, I see. Not so tough, are you? You big-ole softy,” said the human, scooping Cody up and onto one shoulder, the broom snugged onto the other. “Let’s go get you a treat, you brave hunter cat.”

With that, Cody was carted back inside, but not before he managed to spot the squirrel on a tree branch. He squinted his eyes in mild annoyance.

Enjoy your doughnut, squirrel.

After the sound of the shutting door and its lock engaging, the squirrel quickly hopped down from the safety of its branch and scattered over to the doughnut hunk. Sure, a nibble had been taken out of it, but there was still quite a good amount of doughnut left. The squirrel scampered up the nearby tree with this remains and munched on it, reflecting on everything that had happened to get to this point, to this enjoyment of something so sweet, so tasty.

Doughnut tastes like victory! Like victory that will come when cat defeats owl, just like cat defeated other bird just now! Cat will help squirrel and squirrel’s friends! Cat is squirrel’s friend! Though cat does not like doughnuts, cat still fought fiercely, fought bravely! This is a good plan! Mmm…and this is a good doughnut, too!

Its belly full of plain cake doughnut and its muscles and mind exhausted from the events of the day, the squirrel made its way back to its home in the pecan tree at the center of the neighborhood. The sun was beginning to sink lower in the sky, so the squirrel decided to retire early, which was as wise a decision as a squirrel could make as the days grew shorter and the hunting time for owls came earlier each evening.

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