On the Snowy High Road
Snow is an interesting object: white, fluffy, almost like a cloud sitting on the ground, at least from a distance. But up close? Cold. And glittery. At least when the sun shines on it. As if someone had powdered diamonds and spread them over the surface of the ground, making the ground white and cold.
Snow also tends to be dry, but not always. Sometimes snow is quite wet and excellent for dumping down annoying sisters’ backs or flinging at the face of pesky little brothers.
Snow is all those things, and a lot more, to humans.
But a squirrel, awake for some reason it couldn’t quite fathom, saw snow only as a hinderance to returning to its nice, warm nest. A nest that was high up in a tree, safe from most predators and filled with a delicious store of nuts. Just the thing a tired squirrel wanted for a long winter. And exactly where the squirrel in question wanted to be. But wasn’t.
He stood up on his hind paws, whiskers twitching, and looked around. The world was white, the roof he was trying not to fall off of was white. The rain was white and didn’t act at all like rain should. But he wasn’t white. And he stood out to every passing bird in stark contrast to his precarious perch on the shed.
Lowering himself back down on all fours, he picked his way with greater than usual caution toward the edge of the roof, then peered over. The ground was missing, invisible under all that white. His nose twitched as he looked for some way off the roof.
The cry of a hawk startled him, and he jumped in panic, only to land on a snow-covered rail.
The feel of solid surface beneath his feet catapulted him into action. He leapt, hit the rail again, leapt again, and made a mad, jumping dash toward its end.
Tumbling head over furry tail, he vaulted off the rail, hit the ground at the base of the tree and skittered up it.
The hawk’s claws closed on empty air as the squirrel gained the safety of his nest and disappeared from sight.
One hungry bird turned and soared back into the sky, watching the snow for some other meal.
One exhausted squirrel collapsed in his nest and tried to breathe slowly.
One curious photographer snapped a photo of a strange pattern of bumps in the snow on a walkway railing.
And, the squirrel thought, all was right with the world once more.
Copyright © 2019 by Crystalwizard