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Stockton Dupres had taken a long vacation.
The entire summer and fall was spent away from his responsibilities as leader
of the rebel squirrel army.
What had possessed him to take leave of his duties and pursue such reckless disengagement?

It had happened early in the spring of this year, when he first caught
the delicate scent of something wonderful.
He chased after it from the forest to the outskirts of a town.
And there he found a little plot of land, with a human attendant,
and all of the glory that was his right to behold; A garden!

The winter had been long and difficult. The rebel squirrels
had gained leverage against the hunters, but at a great cost.
Casualties were many.
His soldiers were victorious but weary of the constant struggle.
He had sent them all back to their territories for some rest.

He, meanwhile, would work on his next strategy.
And that was his plan until he caught that particular scent on that particular day.

The little budlings called to him as sirens might call to a bedraggled sailor,
left out on the sea too long.

Dupres moved in to a large oak overlooking the entire estate.
From this vantage point, he could watch the attendant and learn his routine.

The gardener, a Mr. Sam, was a dutiful worker. Dupres was impressed to see him
work from morning till dusk, grooming, weeding, moving and doting
over his precious flowers and vegetables.

Mr. Sam apparently lived alone except for an aged hound, who spent his days
moving with the sunlight, from one resting spot to another.

After a time, Dupres began to feel restless and bored.
If Mr. Sam saw him in the garden, he would yell at the hound to chase him away. But the old dog
would barely lift his head and throw out a half hearted ‘woof,’ then return to his nap.
It was too early to send his soldiers back into battle
but he needed to find something more inspiring to do with himself.

Then, early one morning, Mr. Sam came out of the backdoor with a rifle
and blew off the branch above his nest.

“Oh, goodie!” Thought Dupres.

to be continued...

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The opinions expressed by Stockton Dupres do not
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Original squirrel photo,
All squirrel animation
and photo alterations by b.kee(c)2003

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