News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2006
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TOM WRIGHT

Another victory for ground squirrel

The ground squirrel that inhabits the downspout extension at our house insists on living life on the edge. And that includes when it rains sometimes, and it has to move out on a moment's notice.

Either it lives a charmed life or it has a bunch of relatives and they all look the same.

The ground squirrel is a frisky little fellow who's had run-ins with the neighbor's fat cat, been chased by a playful pair of pup foxes and incurred Regina's "Oh my gosh" when she thought it was a snake in the shrubbery.

It won what perhaps was its greatest victory yet the other morning.

Like a MetLife blimp circling high above a football stadium filled with fans, a hawk spotted breakfast in our front yard.

That's right, it was a ground squirrel. I presume it is the one that shows no fear, then scampers for its life. We don't know how far the ground squirrel ventured from the tunnel-like sanctuary of the downspout, but it was close enough to survive one more time.

"What was that?" Regina said, shaking me awake.

"What?" I replied, which apparently didn't answer her question.

"Something hit the window really hard," She replied.

"You are not going to believe this," I said, flipping open blinds that revealed a hawk the size of a small eagle atop a low-cut shrub.

"Come see," I said in a low voice, not to scare away the beautiful bird.

It sat there, like it was shaking off the impact of a missed breakfast, most probably a head smacking against storm glass. Momentarily, it spread its four-foot wings and made it to a utility line.

As I went out to retrieve the morning Daily, I glanced at the end of the downspout. There sat the ground squirrel either quaking from fright or doing a victory scamper.

Chalk up another one for that little fellow.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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