So, because you are so patient and waited for me, I am just going to give you a show today, and tell you a story.
Imagine the clean cool air. You can hear the water running in the river in the distance. The sun is warm on your back, but the shade is cool. The birds are chattering, and the bugs are flying around you. There are only 2 other cars in the parking lot, so you feel alone and enjoy the privacy. A slight breeze ruffles your hair, and brings the fragrance of the sage brush to you.
Join me as we walk on the dry dirt path to the cabin below us, which is just a little way down a hill.
It is a historical cabin, where early homesteaders tried to eek out a living. It has been vacant for nearly 100 years. Now it is just a shell of hand shewn logs, and a dirt floor. The trail we walk leads us to the open kitchen area between the two bedrooms.
There are furry guests inside the open area. Possibly the dirt still carries the smell of bacon grease and fried eggs.
Long ago, food would have been prepared in this open place. Cabins were built this way to prevent kitchen fires from burning down the entire home.
But today, natures inhabitants have taken over this cabin for a place of shelter and recreation.
The little cabin is surrounded by little critters who live underground. They curl up in their dens at night to sleep safely below the surface of the ground. They snuggle close to one another and sleep soundly protected underground. The cabin and the surrounding grasses and trees are left to the nocturnal animals.
In the morning they awake hungry. Carefully, they peek out of the ground, checking for danger.....
They listen. They know to be patient and wait.
They look to the left and to the right, and they wait and they listen.
Yes, these little critters are hungry, and they have to use the bathroom real bad, but they are patient.
Carefully, slowly they wait, they listen.....
They slowly creep out of the hole that leads them out of their den.
There is a great big world out there, and they are pretty small.
Their lives depend on using caution.
If we will be very quiet we can hear the little ground squirrel talking.
Shhhh, shhh ......
They whisper to each other. "What do you see?", asks Paul.
"Just some big two legged animals. I think they are the safe kind. They have cameras.", answers Peter.
Paul asked, "Is one of them a lady?"
"Yes, how did you know?" questioned Peter. He just never gets used to how smart Paul is.
"Because ladies are always the safest for us. They take our picture, and our payment for being such good models is usually crackers or chips or bread. Ladies always have stuff in their pockets or bags."
Peter was amazed at Paul's knowledge of the two legged animals.
Soon Peter and Paul could see their cousins in the grass. They were just getting out of bed, too.
They saw Mary.
They didn't dare holler a good morning greeting to Mary. They were still waiting and listening.
Mary must have to use the bathroom really bad, because she didn't show as much caution as Peter and Paul did. She couldn't even hold still long enough for the two legged lady to take a good clear photo. Mary had one thing on her mind, and she was taking care of business before she got into a conversation with her cousins Peter and Paul.
Mary took one good look around and came to the conclusion that the tall two legged animals looked pretty tame. She was going to make a run to the bushes where she would be able to get some relief from her long night in her den. She knew she had to hurry. She was dancing and pinching with discomfort.
Peter and Paul quickly ran towards Mary. They ran as fast as their little short legs could carry them. They were panting by the time they reached Mary. Their hearts were pounding, and their lungs felt like they would burst trying to get in enough oxygen in this high altitude. They didn't know whether to be thankful for their safety, or if they should give Mary a piece of their mind for her carelessness.
Mary turned and stared at Peter and Paul. She was astonished by their hard breathing. She thought to herself, "man, they are sure out of shape". She smiled a quick flirty smile at them then turned to go in the bushes. She couldn't wait much longer.
The other cousins in nearby dens heard the footsteps of Peter and Paul. Not wanting to be left out of any activity they quietly poked their heads up above ground.
"Sure enough", they thought to themselves, "everyone is awake and getting up. We better get outside, too."
All of the ground squirrels could see the sun getting higher in the sky. They were wasting daylight by staying inside the den. But none were in such a hurry that they would forget to do what their mothers had taught them. They all stopped, looked to the left and looked to the right. They listened. They were patient. They were all good little squirrels and never forgot to stop, look and listen. They wanted to stay safe. They wanted to obey their mama's.
One by one they left the den. They were anxious to go see the tall two legged animals. Especially the lady. She had a bag and they were sure she would have some breakfast for them. They weren't disappointed either. She had crumbs from a sandwich and some chips. They were so grateful for the lady to bring them some breakfast. To show their gratitude they all stood very still until the lady had taken their pictures. They liked the lady and the man, and the lady and the man liked them, too. Then, knowing they were safe they all scurried off into the bushes to take care of business. What good little squirrels they were.