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by David Townley
He didn’t know if he would ever trust them again. The nuts were good but not that good. It all started with his nose twitching to test the breeze.
Nemo was clinging high on the tree; his claws dug into the bark. The elm had been home ever since he was born The hint of a breeze contained a myriad of smells that tingled his senses. His small eyes faced down the trunk focusing on the round object and what looked like nuts placed on it. The little tall ones were nowhere to be seen but there was a lingering trace of them in the air.
It felt safe.
He began slowly lowering himself a few cautious inches at a time using his tail as a rudder. His downward descent in small increments brought him ever closer to the ground and the round object with the nuts on it. He hit the ground scampering and quickly moved to the round object, sat back on his hind legs and sniffed the air. Still, nothing out of the ordinary. He could hear “chirp, chirp, chirp” coming from that flying feather ball in the other tree. Nothing within visual sight to alarm him.
Grabbing one of the nuts, he lifted it to his month and began to eat. Its crunchy texture tasted wonderful. Even better he didn’t have to break the hard shell to get at the good stuff; the little tall ones had done that for him.
Alternating between chewing and pausing to listen for any unusual sounds, Nemo proceeded to consume the nuts that were on the round hard object. They tasted exceptionally good, but constant vigilance was a must so he took time to make visual sightings and to test the subtle scents in the air. He noticed two things – first there were more wonderful enticing smells coming from the big square object next to his home where the tall ones always disappeared into and second there was an opening large enough for him to get into that big square object right next to where those tantalizing smells came from.
There was some noise coming from another nearby opening.
“May, be sure the door is closed! Go check your sister, John”.
Then, “O.K. mom “, came from somewhere farther away.
Closer came, “Cookies will be ready in a few minutes, kids.”
Nothing happened. The opening remained enticingly inviting. The smells got more pronounced with their inviting aroma drawing him closer and closer to the opening in the square tree. It was a warm smell. Not like a log that had been burned but like you get when you snuggle up to all your brothers and sisters in the hole in the tree. It also had a hint of nuts and berries. A quick dash to the post. Another to the top of stairs and then he was there. The aroma of the smells was so stimulating to his sensitive nose. A quick dart around the edge and then…
In the high pitch of a six year old there came a single ear drum vibrating: “MOM!” Thoughts raced through Nemo’s mind all coming in a jumble.
Under that ledge quick. No further down. That way.
What was in the tall ones hands that pushed him?
Nemo was inside. He was under a ledge at the floor. There were multiple exits but little tall ones were at both of them. He made a quick dash to the right toward one of the openings but the taller of the little tall ones was standing in the middle of the opening shouting “Back; the other door!”
Nemo shifted toward the wall. As he did, he saw a bright light coming from the opening on the other side of the cave area. He had to get across the open area. The tall one with the stick thing was on the same side blocking his way.
What to do? What to do? No time think! Just go!
Nemo shot straight across the open area then down the side under the ledge toward the light.
He could smell the outside with its wonderful aroma of freedom. Wonder of wonders, there was nothing blocking his escape at the opening.
He was out. Up the tree Nemo went. Three quarters of the way up with a quick dash he was inside his home. His racing heart pounded in his ear.
He was safe but how could he trust them again?