A Squirrel in My Coat, Part II
As fall cooled into winter Timothy, the gray squirrel, was easily tamed and became a good friend. At feedings Timothy held the little baby doll bottle hungrily emptying it. A delight to watch, Timothy's lash fringed enormous limpid eyes were beautiful and the perfection of Timothy's tiny hands, only a few millimeters long, were fascinating. Day after day passed without any difficulty, in part because I kept Timothy away from the adults as much as I could. There were my grandparents, my mother, frequently visiting aunts and uncles and the great aunts and uncles that were neighbors on both sides of my grandparents home. There came the day, however, when our great, great Auntie Bella came to visit. My Nana gently directed that Timothy was not to be in Auntie Bella's presence during her morning visit. All went well until the visit extended to the afternoon and past Timothy's feeding time. There was nothing for it but to put Timothy under my coat and feed him. Into the kitchen with greetings to both matrons, milk secured, bottle filled and warmed, I was happily making my way through the kitchen to the out of doors and safety when Nana asked, "Do you have Timothy under your coat?" Fifty years later I still wonder at why Nana asked knowing now what a positive response would illicit. Although only 5, I knew then, so I lied. "No." As if on cue, Timothy's feather-duster size fluffy gray tail dropped into view from under my coat. Having never before witnessing such a thing, the response that issued forth from Auntie Bella was mesmerizing in it's delivery and decibels. I was rooted to the kitchen floor watching Auntie Bella as her face and portly body, contorted with screams, bounced up and down in her chair. Nana couldn't seem to get her feet under her but as soon as realization came upon me, I found my feet in a hurry and made it to the door far ahead of Nana. Timothy and I stayed away the rest of that day and well into the evening.
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