An Afternoon Delight

“Jane, please watch the kids for me. My sister is going to have a baby and I can’t take them with me.”

“Sure,” I said… like I could do anything about it when the three of them zoomed past us at the door. They were all headed to the TV room. I waved bye to their mom and instantly went from having a lazy afternoon to Dod oh Dod, what do I do now? When I was little I had problems with my “G’s” and so when I talked to God it was Dod. I have called him that ever since. I glance at the ceiling and said, “This was your idea. Now, help me.”

The problem, my TV was broken. I had 3 kids all with down syndrome ready to play for the afternoon and no TV. I had one adult game called Jenga in the house. This was not going to work with my Age 8, wiggly, house guests, and no TV. I got them started on a story about squirrels. They looked at me like I was crazy.

“Squirrels don’t talk. They chatter.” The looks of doubt from my audience told me I was going to have to do some praying on this one.

I told them about a squirrel who wanted to be an architect. He did not want to gather nuts like the other squirrels, he wanted to build things. He wanted to create places for other squirrels to safely store their nuts and even keep their children safe. He would gather twigs instead of pecans. His mother was always trying to get him to go out and gather nuts for the family like his brothers and sisters but she would find him in a pile of twigs instead. The other squirrels made fun of him and would tease him about having a place to stay but no food. He finally left the family tree and moved to another tree in the yard.

He watched his brothers and sisters play and gather pecans. He would stuff pecans in his own cheeks and go home with his arms full of twigs as he was building his own home. He gathered dog fur and hair he found in the yard. I told the kids I would sometimes clean my hairbrush and throw the contents out in the yard so he could pick them up.

“You mean he lives in your yard?” They asked. Now, all 3 kids had been sitting at the kitchen table listening to my little story. I told them if they would wait a few minutes they might be able to catch a glimpse of him. I told them to watch at the window.

I grabbed the Jenga game from the closet as I made my way to the table on the patio. I placed the game pieces into a very loose tower of wooden blocks. I prayed again, Dod… please… make it work.  I had noticed that whenever I left things on the table the squirrels would get curious and check it out.

By the time I got back in the house, the kids were squealing at the window. Two squirrels had landed on the table to inspect my offering. I put my hands together and whispered a soft, “Thank you.” We spent the afternoon watching our little friends play with the game. The kids never doubted that I could understand squirrels. One of them told their mother that I lived in a magic house. I just winked at her. She had a cell phone and took a picture of the magic.

When the children were gone I went out to the patio and sure enough, there were nuts hidden inside the game. I guess I was telling the truth after all. I looked up and there was a squirrel peeking out from a bed of twigs with tiffs of hair poking out. I once again said, “Thank you.” I just love it when a plan comes together.

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  1. TXJane, Hope the area you live in down there didn’t loose power or water . Enjoyed your story about babysitting and the squirrels. Look forward to reading your next story .

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