The squirrel has finally sniffed a treasure in the middle of the field. Unmindful of me observing only a few yards away, not even signaling an expression of dim surprise, it took something from the ground. Whether or not it was food, I didn’t know. It meant so much for the squirrel I could see how the nibbling went on for minutes.
This event took place – no, was seen – no, was experienced, that’s the right word, near the bell tower along Medary avenue, on a cold, drizzling Saturday morning on my way to Wal-Mart to shop something for lunch.
Unlike the squirrel needing no single lesson in mapping to track down food, I had to focus my memory’s eye to a map I tagged along. Careful not to soak it with rain, I, ever so often, stopped beneath shades and checked parallel avenues I wandered upon.
Fourth avenue, that was. Another squirrel crossed my path. Feeling cold, my ears were about to split, for numbness perhaps. I then realized how the squirrel might have laughed at my current whole kit and caboodle, when in some twist of urge, I looked back and there it was, staring at me with the semblance of an annoying mimicry.
Past the 14th avenue and in every vehicle that came my way, I pretended to be lost. In this not-so-perfect game plan, I thought an innocent look plus a map in my hand plus the gesture of spinning my head in all possible vane directions plus the fact that I was alone in a kilometer radius, would bait drivers to pull over and give me a lift. Such strategy obviously proved worthless. Nobody even cared to slow down. Only the squirrel paid attention.
After being trapped in a roadway construction, I finally found Wal-Mart. The store is never an impressive structure with its box-like frame; it pails in comparison with the huge five-storey malls in my small city back home.
Shopping went easy, like a child’s play. Eric, take a look above you and in big bold letters you’d see which section you should be. I grabbed a box of rice, a sliced wheat bread, a half a gallon of milk, a thin cut of meat and, in between those, I silently eagle-eyed the frequent shoppers. They were the ones who led me to the best inexpensive cookies and bread spreads and noodles and canned goods. Then I proceeded to buy few cooking utensils, paid everything in cash and, after an hour, off I went home.
Trailing back, however, I took the path less traveled. I crossed some greens parallel to the avenues. Sure, squirrels were there too. This time, I boastfully walked sans a map in my hand.
You see, this isn’t a tale about squirrels after all. Rather, it’s about a boy who was ushered by squirrels to Wal-Mart so he could have a good lunch of rice and meat!