It was a warm, sunny Spring day. Easter had come and gone and the neighbors had all put their trash out for pick up. It was not uncommon for the crows to poke through plastic trash bags and this reason, an ordinance was in effect to put trash out in the morning. However, there was trash out before the scheduled time. So it came as no surprise to me when the crows got into my neighbor’s plastic bag. They pulled out all manner of things, taking what they wanted and leaving the rest. They chose to leave behind one very large chocolate rabbit. Why it was in the trash is a mystery, but it did not escape the notice of one very curious squirrel. As I sat watching from my living room window, I saw the squirrel eyeing the rabbit. First, he poked at it and ran away. Then he was back. Perhaps he wanted to make sure it was dead. It had a yellow ribbon around it’s neck. He went for that first and disappeared. Soon he was back and started to taste the rabbit.
Yowza! What was this sweet delight? He jumped up and down with excitement! The squirrel had discovered the joys of chocolate! Sweet bliss! He had no idea that nuts came chocolate covered, that surely would have blown his little mind! He took another taste of the chocolate. This was too good to be true! Now, I don’t know if he had fallen in love with the chocolate or the rabbit, but he was going to have it at all costs! I watched him try to carry the rabbit off with him! Not only was it twice as big, it was all slippery because it had been laying on the warm asphalt driveway. The squirrel was getting covered in chocolate! But his perseverance was paying off, for he had nearly made it across the street when a car came up the hill. What to do? The squirrel was erect and panicked, leave this treasure, this warm delectable or die with it? He was frozen in indecision! Finally, as if jarred from his hypnotic enticement, he came to his senses and ran to the safety of my yard as the car sped by running over his beloved rabbit leaving only chunks in a brown puddle of dreams. I swear to you that when he saw what the car had done, I actually saw his shoulders drop and his head bow low. He stood motionless for a minute deciding his next move. Then he gingerly made his way out to the street and began to retrieve his mangle mess. Was the dream over? Would it taste the same?It DID!
He began to gather all the pieces to the other side of the road. Unfortunately, more cars came and he was forced to repeat this ordeal several times. All the while getting more covered in chocolate, eating as he went and experiencing the joy we humans know that makes all large troubles small ones! He was now into a full on sugar buzz, jumping and dancing around in some weird kinetic dance, flipping himself up, over and around my neighbor’s split rail fence.
After all the pieces were safely across the street, he made the greedy little choice to try and collect the melted chocolate in the street. But how? There was only one way, EAT! And eat FAST! By this time I felt sure I was going to witness death by chocolate one way or another, but having thoroughly saturated himself, he set off to take the pieces to his home. He was almost comatose by now, and with each trip he took longer and longer to return. He was wobbling and swaying like a sailor out on leave from a year at sea. I don’t know how he did it, but he got all the pieces during that long,warm Spring day. Exhausted, he left behind a chocolate trail from street to post to rail. In one last attempt, he stumbled over to the chocolate puddle in the middle of the street and looked down at it like a he was leaving behind the treasure of the Sierra Madras. He hung his head to sigh with regret, resigning himself that the spoils were no more and turned toward home.
He was just an ordinary gray squirrel living in the suburbs and on this one day he found the mother load. And only I was there to tell the tale.