Rats with good PR #squirrels #flashfiction

2009-05-13 21.25.44


Charli’s latest Carrot Ranch prompt is thus

May 18, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a squirrel. It can be about a squirrel, for a squirrel or by a squirrel. Think nutty, naturalistic, dinner or ironic. Go where the prompt leads and don’t forget to twirl with imagination.

We have grey squirrels in abundance. In London they aren’t really pests, if you ignore the bird feeder robbery. And they are cute which rescues them for the fate of most rodents.

2013-04-26 10.25.40

Since we’ve lived here we have had two dogs. The current incumbent can’t be doing with them and ignores them but his predecessor, Blitz had an instant and visceral need to chase any squirrel that crossed his vision. Only once did he catch one and that was an accident as the squirrel back tracked and Blitz, caught out by the manoeuvre fell over and promptly sat on the squirrel. Whether it was surprise or shock he shot to his feet and stared at the flattened target. The squirrel stared back, shook itself and ran for the nearest tree. Blitz let it go; personally I think B was embarrassed to catch the prey with such an unexpected manoeuvre. It was like a golfer accidentally moving the ball; B had to call the move against himself.


In the end a squirrel did for B; he turned so sharply on some sticky grass that he ruptured something in his knee. He had several anaesthetics while they worked on him and while he did recover I wonder if the impact of the drugs was a trigger for the heart problem that eventually took him?


And Mary’s daughter Penny is out and about with her dog, Peter.

Nature, red in tooth and claw.

Penny let Peter off his lead. The dog sniffed then became still. Seconds later he was sprinting after a squirrel. Penny watched, heart in mouth, as the dog caught and shook its prey while Penny ran, desperate to stop the horror show. By the time she arrived it was limp in the dog’s jaws.
Later as she recounted the story to her mother she asked, ‘Why?’
‘But it’s not like he needs the food.’
Mary thought back to the moment she heard of her father’s affair. Maybe we are destined to be let down by those we love.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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28 Responses to Rats with good PR #squirrels #flashfiction

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    My son has been having problems with squirrels on the bird feeder… he called to ask what type of squirrel had a bald tail… πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Squirrels are entertaining to watch. I don’t understand dog’s fascination with them.
    Sorry, I’m laughing myself silly about your dog flattening the squirrel. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Entertaining story.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ritu says:

    The squirrels were numerous at Center Parcs… Lil Man names one Winston… then couldn’t tel the difference! So they were all Winston after that!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Autism Mom says:

    I remember the first time I got a good look at a squirrel, sitting on a step 2 feet away from me. “You’re just a rat with a fluffy tail, aren’t you?” I asked it. It did not deign to answer.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. noelleg44 says:

    I can tell our squirrels apart by their tails – from nearly bald to very, very bushy! My husband once snowblowed (snowblew) a frozen squirrel.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sherri says:

    Ahh…poor Blitz. I wrote my flash based on the time I took the kids to Brownsea Island during one of my trips back home from the States, desperate to show them what red squirrels really looked like, the ones I grew up with. Ha…not a single bloody red squirrel but lots of peacocks!! Enjoyed your poignant flash…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Charli Mills says:

    Wow, that’s a powerful flash, deepening Mary’s understanding of her father through the incident. I was once horrified when Grenny arrived at the back door with a squirrel he packed around like a dog toy.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Squirrels in the Vicinity « Carrot Ranch Communications

  9. Dogs flattening squirrels whatever next! Shame poor Blitz came off badly. We have tons of squirrels in our garden they are very entertaining and comical to watch. Enjoyed your flash Geoff.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Norah says:

    Interesting story about the dogs and the squirrels. Do you really have so many funny things happen around you, or is it just in the telling?
    Profound flash. Made me stop and think. My mind had gone more to the instincts, than being let down.
    I know I should check for myself but I’ll use lazy thinking and ask: wasn’t Mary’s father’s dog named Peter. Isn’t that how we got this story started? I had forgotten (if I knew) that Penny had a dog named Peter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Peter was grandpa and his dog was Milton. Penny named the new dog after her grandfather. As to my anecdotes the raw data is as correct as my mind is able to recall – did you see Irene’s most excellent post on the fallibility of memory in memoire? I do tell them in the most amusing way, sort of like using a stronger palate than might strictly meet the case! And thank you re the flash.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sacha Black says:

    so many lols to the dog sitting on the squirrel. I like the emotional tone to the flash too, how you connected the dog disappointment to the dad. Made me stop and think. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Rowena says:

    I love the dog sitting on the squirrel too. Sounds like a scene from The Goodies of The Meaning of Life. I’ve been meaning to get back into my flash writing but am glad I missed the squirrels. I’ve never seen one.
    Meanwhile, my daughter has to give a speech for school and one of the topics was about being an expert on something. That’s a pretty tricky topic for a 10 year old. Her initial choice was on bonsai as she has a bonsai in her room. I quickly snuffed that one out and now she ‘s become an expert on giraffes.
    I think your Dad would have loved that one!
    xx Ro

    Liked by 1 person

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