As I wrote on the computer in my office, a squirrel on the deck rail outside my window chattered, squealed, hopped up and down, and made a scooping motion with his paw underneath the railing. What was going on below? I stood up for a better view.
Beneath the squirrel on the deck floor lay Zoie, my thirteen-year-old Yorkshire Terrier. Sunning herself, apparently unaware of the squirrel and his antics above, Zoie’s eyelids were halfway closed, in peaceful relaxation.
Oh, poor Zoie. She was more deaf and blind that we had realized. She was taking no notice whatsoever of the commotion above her.
Later, I told my husband of what happened and he sympathized with our dog.
However, the next day Zoie’s actions clued me in to her unique relationship with this squirrel.
Again, I noticed the squirrel back at his post, ranting as though a predator was stealing his nest. Again, I stood up. But this time, Zoie faced him, a few feet away. She didn’t move a whisker. She stared nearly at him – – but averted her eyes just enough to make him aware he wasn’t her focus.
And she was smiling.
Good girl. Very good girl.
Writing Prompt: Animals are smarter than we think they are.
1. Write about an animal and his/her relationship with another animal. Show through their actions their feelings.
2. Write about an animal you have known and what you’ve learned from this relationship.
3. Use an animal relationship to inspire art, poetry, or a story that features animal communication.