I'm a Squirrel Not a Tree Rat

Squirrel on the bird feeder
Squirrel on the bird feeder | Source

Eagles circled and glided above

Talons sharpened to strike prey they would quickly dispose of

Swooping tree tops with wingspans so threatening and large

They squawked viciously to those below while preparing to charge

Giggles, smirks and calling names

Cheat too many from fun in playing life’s checkerboard of games

It didn't take long for the blackbirds who cawed in unified torment

The targets of scorn immediately picked up on the scent

The air reeked of bigotry, racism and hate

How many others would join in and take the bait

You see, Sally the squirrel spoke softly in her defense

“I’ve done nothing to you,” she cried. “Please stop making my life so tense"

Whitey the eagle was the first to chime in

Then the two biggest blackbirds named Bertie and Merle sneered with an evil grin

“Tree Rat, Tree Rat, look at the Tree Rat,” they bellowed with glee

“We know Sally’s a squirrel, but she’s still a Tree Rat to us” they yelled bluntly

“I’m not a tree rat,” Sally shyly murmured to her foes

“Please don’t call me what I’m not and add to my woes”

“I fight for my scraps in a world of survival”

“Do not assault me with pelting stones of babble”

“You call me names and they just aren't true”

“For you see, I have feelings the same as you”

“I’m not shiftless or lazy nor do I rest on my laurels”

“I’m a hunter and gatherer with a strong code of morals”

Sally pleaded, “Don’t call me names; there is no honor in that”

“If you were a horse, should I call you a gnat

“We’re all creatures of Mother Earth, large, small and in-between”

“I could be president of all wildlife or maybe the Squirrel Queen

“How would you feel Bertie, Merle and Whitey if others tormented your baby birdies and they were bullied?” Sally asked the gang in the yard

“I know you wouldn’t like that while protecting your young as their personal lifeguard”

“No one agreed when Billy Blue Jay picked at the little peeps”

“They suffered from nightmares and were frightened and he gave them the creeps”

“You see we are more the same than different so there’s no need to compete”

“Let’s make our lives better and we’ll all be upbeat”

“What I’m about to say is sad, but true”

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names really do hurt both me and you”

“I know we look different – all of us do,” Sally muttered to the eagle and crow

“But we have hearts and feelings and mutual respect needs to grow”

“Name calling is bullying and causes much pain”

“We cannot be good stewards of the planet when we cause such disdain”

“We should all be kinder and more caring to each other”

“It’s now time to be good and decent and act as sister to brother”

“You keep calling me a Tree Rat and I’m a squirrel for sure”

“Let’s spread love and respect and not take a wrong turn when there isn’t a detour”

Well the story is quite easy and the lesson certainly clear

Whitey, Merle and Bertie took a wing to wipe away each tear


THINGS STARTED OUT ROCKY BUT HAPPILY ENDED AS A GREAT DAY

FOR ALL LEARNED THE IMPORTANCE OF TOLERANCE AND ACCEPTANCE AND HOW THAT IS SIMPLY A-OKAY!



WRITTEN BY: DENNIS L. PAGE

Squirrels enjoying the bird seed
Squirrels enjoying the bird seed | Source

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Comments 24 comments

grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

I loved the use of the animal kingdom to illustrate this very important moral lesson. Let's all be kind to each other, no names, no bullying--wouldn't that be a wonderful thing! Loved this and voted up & Awesome. Your pictures are very cool as well. As I look out my window I can count at least a dozen squirrels under the bird feeders, not to mention the 3 that have found their way around all the baffles!

Have a great day!

Pearl


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

Did they, D? Did they learn?

What a happy (delusional) ending, my friend to an awesome first poem!

i see rainbows, love, and flowers won't be your poetic M.O. either, huh?

lol..we are very much alike in how we think - and i too love the subtlety of utilizing the animal kingdom to express the foibles of us terribly judgmental humans!

i love squirrels, but - that could just be because i'm NUTS! lol

up and sharing, Big D!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

A brilliant share;I loved it and a very important message enclosed.

I now look forward to so many more by you.

Take care

Eddy.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

You are right to use animals in this outstanding and timely hub. Animals give unconditional love. I learned this from the sweet doggies I've raised through the years. Voted up and sharing!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida

This is awesome. You so beautifully portrayed what humans do to each other. If this is indeed your first poem, bring us more!


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

A friend sent me your way. I'm glad they did. Nice work. Thank you


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Hey, Dennis!

I am so very proud when a fellow baby boomer steps out of the mainstream sandbox to wax creative with squirrels and nuts! LOL! Great job!

So what came first? The photo or the idea?

No matter...what resulted was an object lesson for mankind. Thanks for sharing, my friend, and reinforcing my hunch that baby boomers don't age...they just get squirrelly!


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ grandmapearl - It was a pleasant surprise to see you were the first to read and comment on my little poem. Thank you for the vote up.

I'm more of a storyteller, so putting this poem together was a challenge for me. My light bulb moment came when I decided to write as if I was reading a story to school children. Kids love it when animals have names...actually, I think adults do too. Many children's books try to convey a message and that was my intent with this poem.

Animals are so fascinating. Yesterday, in anticipation of an impending storm, the squirrels were busy eating everything in sight and then the deer came and also tried to fatten up.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ ImKarn23 - Aah, I knew I could count on you poking in and helping an old buddy out. Thank you.

This was my first and most likely last poem. I found that putting this together was much more difficult than I first thought. I did want to get the moral of the story out...even if it was somewhat delusional.

I do believe Ms. L. that the two of us are on the same page (cough, cough) when it comes to the never ending fight for equality and justice. Then again, we do march to a different drummer, but I like our beat, even if it is the patter of the nuts falling from the trees.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ Eiddwen - Thank you for reading and commenting. Bullying has always gone on. What we, as adults need to do is educate the younger generation regarding how hurtful and damaging name calling can be. Some who have been victims of abuse, either physical of verbal carry those scars for life and no one deserves to be treated like that.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ vocalcoach - I appreciate you dropping in and voting my piece up and for sharing it. I will be sure to return the favor.

You are spot on regarding the unconditional love exhibited by animals. We mere humans have much to learn from our four legged friends.

I too have had dogs my entire life and can't imagine a world without a wagging tail there to greet me.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ bravewarrior - Thank you so much for your response and your kind words of encouragement.

I attempted to put my toe in and check the temperature of the poetry water. Alas, I have found this genre is not my forte'.

Maybe I'm an idealist, but I think the time is long overdue to put an end to name calling and bullying on all levels.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ Mhatteroo - I think I know who the "friend" was that steered you in my direction and I'm elated you popped in and offered your feedback.

I enjoy writing stories with a message because words can be so powerful. The most difficult task though is getting the story out there to be read. Thank you for adding your name to the list.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ hawaiianodysseus - As always, I am grateful for having HP followers like you who read and leave super complimentary comments.

"Baby boomers don't age...they just get squirrelly" is too funny. I'm reminded of that fact whenever I attempt to joke with a teenage cashier and they give me the "deer in the headlights" look as if to say, " What planet did this old guy come from?"

To answer your question, the photos came first and then the story. My wife has taught both 1st or 2nd Grades for over 38 years. Knowing the attraction to themed stories on a child's level helped me immensely with writing my poem.


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

LOL...i adore you D!

Sharing again - just for emphasis...lol


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

A 'fable' Aesop would be proud to call his own. This was done so beautifully, a lesson for us not just children! We old folks have to stick together and when one of us writes a beautiful piece like this, we all rejoice!

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared. (Love the photos too.)


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

A very nice analogy of what happens to humans. I love the creative thinking it took to write this hub. Vote up!


picadilly profile image

picadilly 3 years ago from Schaumburg, IL

I loved this long ditty Mr. D.!!!! Exceptional, and full of fun furry tales!!! You get the nature award on this one!!! Hugs!!!


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ tillsontitan - Thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement. I'm not a poet, nor do I pretend to be, but I did want to try something different. Camaraderie is a great thing and I'm glad my message came through.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ picklesandrufus - I'm pleased you found this piece of mine creative. I honestly didn't know whether it would work or not, but I'm glad it did. Thank you.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

@ picadilly - Hey there Ms. P. I haven't seen you around here for awhile and I'm pleased as punch you left your wonderful footprint on my poem. You know me too well when it comes to my love of animals. Chippy the chipmunk has finally come out of his den and he's very busy gathering nuts and seed I put out, along with the squirrels, birds and of course, the 3 - 4 deer who visit twice daily.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 19 months ago from Home Sweet Home

so cute, a tree rat! what a name. Kids are cute with naming animals


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 19 months ago from New York/Pennsylvania border Author

Thank you for commenting. This is another example of Hubpages targeting certain people. Even though you have commented, they still tell me this hub is not featured. I am ready to pull everything off this site. Sorry for the rant, but it just feels as though they are pulling my chain and I don't like it.


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 11 months ago from Ontario, Canada

I was attracted to the squirrel picture as we have lots of them around our cottage and some do bother me as they take all the feed from the birds and the chipmunks because they are bigger. Anyway, I was glad I let the squirrel guide me to this wisdom hub.

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