I had walked back to the bedroom to change clothes when I saw a squirrel perched on the fence just outside the window (probably the same one Mr. Darling was nose to nose with in the sunroom last week) so without even thinking I said aloud, "Oh, a squirrel. Hello Squirrel!"
Now the Darlings (and every other Dachshund I've ever known, for that matter) know exactly what the word SQUIRREL means. So although they and Lucky the Lemon Beagle were all in the front part of the house, they of course tuned their sharp little ears right in on that word and all came yappin' and barreling down the hallway, with tongues and tails a flyin'. I think Lucky really had no clue what all the fuss was about but he was all in, just the same.
And though I was in the middle of changing clothes and therefore half-dressed, I could not help but carry on with them because I am nothing if not supportive so I picked Brisco (Captain of the Squirrel Patrol) up, walked over to the window so he could get a good look at the squirrel and began my squirrel pep talk..."Look at that SQUIRREL!...It's a SQUIRREL right there, boy!...See the SQUIRREL!...You wanna get him? You wanna get that SQUIRREL!?"
Or something like that.
He is not the vocal one of the three so while the other two were cutting flips and barking to beat the band, he was zeroed right in on the squirrel and quivering from head to tail. He takes his Squirrel Patrol duties very seriously. That little wiener lives for moments like this.
The minute I put him down he bolted back down the hallway and to the outside door of the sunroom where he let out one very deep, very loud let-me-at-him bark as Charlene and Lucky continued to yap, howl and paw at the door. So I reluctantly (it was raining outside and rain = muddy paws) let them out and ran back down the hallway to the bedroom window for some front row viewing.
As soon as I got back into the bedroom I heard insanely loud scratching from the gutter pipe coming down the side of the house, right beside the window. I immediately thought it was Brisco trying to tear the gutters off the house since he just recently tore the black plastic drainpipe off the bottom so I ran over to the window, flung it open and began shouting, "BRISCOOOO!" but as I stuck my head out the window, I spotted them all patiently waiting at the bottom.
The scratching was not Brisco after all. It was the squirrel. Inside the gutter pipe. The wily little rodent had run up in there to escape. I heard him scratch his way to the top and then proceed back down again as he must have quickly realized there was no other way out since there is a screen at the top.
And there the three members of the Squirrel Patrol sat waiting for him, anticipating what was quite possibly about to turn into the most exciting moment in each of their little four-legged lives. I wanted to warn the squirrel to turn back, turn back now! But I don't speak Squirrel and plus, he was inside the drainpipe and all so I just sat there hanging out of the window in my bra (thank the good Lord there are no neighbors on the backside of the house), feeling like I was about to witness the Road Runner run his final race against Wile E. Coyote.
Y'all. I realize you maybe just had to be there but I'm telling you, it was intense.
But I didn't need to worry because that skillful squirrel came out of that gutter pipe so fast not a one of them seemed to even have time to process what was happening until he was over their heads, on the ground and coming up the side of the house...
"Ohhhh CRAP! HE'S COMING MY WAY! HE'S HEADED RIGHT FOR ME! HE'S GONNA JUMP ON MY FACE! HE'S COMING IN THE HOUSE!! EEEEEE!!!"
Never have I moved more quickly or swiftly in my life, of this I am sure.
And by the time I got that window down the squirrel had magically vanished, leaving the Squirrel Patrol whining in disbelief, Captain Darling beside himself with disappointment, and me laughing hysterically as I suddenly heard the words to that old Ray Stevens song begin to play in my head...