This is the first in a series of posts as decided by you, the readers. If you'd like to add a word to the list of bloggable topics, leave me a comment on this post.
Here is my confession for the week, a confession that is not news for many of you: I hate squirrels. Okay, maybe "hate" is too strong an adjective. I dislike them substantially. I am not fooled by their bushy tails and cute nut gathering habits. It is my opinion that they are vile creatures who are just waiting for the perfect opportunity to attack. This fear started after an unfortunate nightmare following a viewing of The Wizard of Oz around age five (replace flying monkeys with flying squirrels and that gives you an idea for the roots of my fear), escalated during my undergraduate years at the University of Illinois, and has reached a position of maintenance where the squirrel population and I have an unspoken mutual agreement to just steer clear of one another. For those of you who laugh at my fear, I offer up this challenge: take a walk along the perimeter of The Quad at U of I around mid-October. Observe the astronomical number of grey squirrels - vile rodents with sparsely covered tails and no respect for the fact that human pedestrians should have the right of way on the sidewalks around campus - just waiting for you to drop a morsel of food or, better yet, hunting for a sick sap who is willing to actually feed them from an open hand. Try not to shudder at the thought that a rouge squirrel could jump onto your head and/or shoulders from their perch in one of numerous trees at any time. All of these are true accounts of actual events. I rest my case.
Last night, there was a squirrel in our house for about an hour, and I'm happy to report that I remained totally calm. Okay, yes, the squirrel was actually Elaina wearing a paper plate crafted mask made to resemble a squirrel. This squirrel was accompanied by a raccoon, goose, bear, and hummingbird, and there is video proof of this event.
Elaina brings home her first grade reader every Wednesday. Her reading homework mid-week is to read the story that her class is reading, discussing, and being tested on Friday morning. This week's story, "Where Are My Animal Friends?" happens to be a play. Naturally our little drama queen decided it would be only appropriate to not only read the story but to also perform the play as written. Immediately she got to work create elaborate animal masks and recruited the rest of us to take a part after dinner and baths.
Not only did she serve as head of costume design and art director, Elaina also assigned herself the roles of director, producer, set design, actress with a dual role, Master of Ceremonies to the stuffed animal audience, and stage manager. With me as Raccoon, McKenna playing Goose, Elaina pulling double duty as Squirrel and Hummingbird, and The General nailing his performance as a hibernating Bear, it was a first grade story performance surely worthy of a four star rating.
Did I get a picture of the squirrel which would have been a perfect ending to this post? No, I did not. You'll just have to settle for this ridiculous picture of a hummingbird instead.