Squirrel and Sparrow

High in the branches of the horse chestnut tree sparrow sat and watched with great interest as squirrel darted about on the ground below.

“You seem rather busy today Squirrel” sparrow said.

“Oh indeed I am” squirrel said glancing up for only the briefest of moments and then returning to the rather important business of collecting nuts for the winter.  “Winter is coming Sparrow, and I must prepare.”

Sparrow watched her dart into a large crack in the side of the tree carrying a large acorn, her bushy tail still protruding.

“Do you not have enough already?” Sparrow shouted. “You have been gathering for weeks and weeks.”

Squirrel turned about and popped her head out.  “A squirrel can never have enough” she replied scuttling down the trunk of the tree and continuing to search in the golden carpet of leaves that covered the floor of the wood.

“And when do you know you have enough” Sparrow asked as Squirrel disappeared under a particularly large pile of red and yellow leaves.

Squirrel did not respond and moments passed as Sparrow waited for squirrel to emerge.

Suddenly, with a groan and an exclamation of joy she burst from the pile carrying what was most definitely the largest beechnut that sparrow had ever seen.

“My word” sparrow exclaimed, “surely now you have enough to tide you over during the dark winter months.”

Squirrel heaved it slowly towards the horse chestnut.  “Oh no” she said “the winter is long and I will most certainly need more.”

“Really?” said Sparrow, “and…”

Sparrow did not get to finish her sentence as quite suddenly, out of the high trees, Owl swooped down and in an instant her long talons wrapped around squirrel’s beech nut and hoisted it, and squirrel, up into the air.

“Let go” shouted sparrow watching owl swoop between the trees and glide up and up.

“But it’s my beech nut” squirrel shouted as ascended above the tree tops.  Squirrel hung on with all she had.  The nut was hers and she was not letting go.

Higher and higher flew owl, yet Squirrel would not let go.  Sparrow launched herself into the sky and set off after them.  “Let go squirrel, LET GO” she shouted as she neared them.

Squirrel looked down, her fingers beginning to slip as owl soared higher into the clear winter sky.

“No” she insisted, the wind blowing through her bushy tail.

Owl looked down seeing squirrel still holding on with the tiny tips of her fingers, smiled, and let go.

“It’s all mine” shouted squirrel defiantly as she hurtled towards the ground, Owl circling back to where she would soon land with a splat.