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                            As the Worm Churns

                                                                                         Humor by Lance K. Pugh

                                                             June 1, 2009


BluebirdThe other day between hail, sleet, rain and rays of sunshine, I happened into the garden and observed a most amazing sight. A blue bird seemed worried by a worm and was going after it with its beak at ramming speed. I quietly backed away, retrieved my binoculars, then zoomed in to see lunch al dente being prepared. What I saw was unexpected.

The several squirrels who live in our walnut tree bury the hard-shelled fruits at random, then quickly forget their treasure map to their treats. I notice them later as they transform to shoots, then small trees in search of sun and good soil. Hence the foundation of the dilemma in the garden.

The well-intentioned, though slightly befuddled bird was trying to pull a walnut volunteer from the ground, thinking it very much to be a succulent worm sufficient to make a mid-morning meal. Yet the walnut had grown roots of tenacity and was not going anywhere soon.

The bird was hopping, squawking, shaking and tugging, but none of all this effort was getting the best of the cellulose titian clinging to the depths with the strength of Atlas.

Before long I spotted a neighbor’s red cat atop the fence, though I was pretty sure that he was not eyeing a wooden worm. He sat attentively, apparently trying to figure out the basis of the battle in progress.

It was only moments later that I noticed the two squirrels on an overhanging branch call the action like a referee at a prize fight in Las Vegas. As the audio ramped up my dog, Spooky, poked his head about, trying to ascertain if the bird was crazy or if an old buried bone had instigated the mayhem.

It was only a matter of moments before two more dogs were peeking through the fence, trying to get good seats before the end of the match. Then the doe that likes the dandelions behind our house pounced nearby while chewing on some of our over-abundant crop.

A few neighbors walked by and soon began to make bets as to the results of this bird-barking. The dirt truly began to fly when the squirrels began launching walnuts, to the astonishment of all in attendance.

I did what anyone of you would have done under such conditions and ran inside the house and opened the last treasured tin of some home-made oatmeal cookies and a small can of sardines. I then returned to the scene of the turmoil and spread the goodies around. Everybody liked the cookies, but the cat turned his back on everything not fishy.

It was then that my wife, Annette, arrived home to watch the menagerie consume their treats and head back to where they had previously been.

“So, this is what you do when I am hard at work?”

“No,” I replied, “but a lemonade stand out here could really rake it in.”


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