The War Has Begun
What I have learned in my better than eight years on this planet is that a good offense is much, much better than a good defense. It’s also important to have a well devised, intelligent offense, not one running around willy nilly.
To that end, I have been patient, waiting for my opportunity. I have developed a passing acquaintance with my enemies. Not enough to call them friends, but enough so they don’t think of me as an enemy, just “that dog they see sometimes.”
I go out in the yard and I watch them, follow them with my eyes. I don’t bark nor do I chase, but I’m always watching, with a slight head nod now and then to acknowledge their glances in my direction. This is all part of the plan, a plan to make them think of me as nothing more than an observer, when really I’m just soaking everything about them in, gathering intelligence on their movements, their tendencies, their likes, their dislikes, and where they lay their heads at night.
This morning I decided I had the information I needed and it was time, after almost two years of observing and planning, to go into action.
It was a dark and stormy morning, the rain pouring down from the sky and creating small streams running through the lawn. Still, I didn’t hesitate when Dad let me out into the weather after breakfast; hey, when you have to go, you have to go, right?
I headed out to the grass and did my business, ignoring the heavy raindrops bouncing off my fur. I heard a twig break and turned my head towards the large tree at the top of our sloped backyard. Under that tree it’s not dry, but the limbs block out most of the rain. Under cover of the sound of rain bouncing off the sunroom windows, I slipped up to the base of the tree towards the source of the sound.
Sneaking around the base of the trunk I saw him, sitting just a few feet away with his back to me: a squirrel. Mom and Dad joke about how I am never close to catching one, but now, oh now, I am not only close but I can taste it.
I didn’t hesitate, pouncing with both front paws onto the squirrels neck, his muted scream stifled when his neck broke. I could feel him still twitching under my feet, but there was no doubt his time on this earth had come to an end.
At that moment Dad called me to come in. Sweet of him, really, to think about me in the pouring rain instead of just ignoring me for his morning book and coffee, so I did what any self-respecting Shiba would do; I brought him my prize.
With the tail and his size the squirrel proved more difficult to move than I expected, his body getting caught up in my legs as I ran back to the sunroom door, where I dropped it and waited to come inside with my offering. Dad looked surprised and made me leave it outside.
“It’s still moving!” he whined. So he left it, now returning to finish his coffee.
I wouldn’t let him forget about my kill, my nails click-clacking continuously over the hardwood floor as I paced back and forth to the door. He sighed, cleaned up his dishes, and went to retrieve a garbage bag before we went back outside in the rain.
Dad is such a wuss. He freaked out when the squirrel’s leg moved involuntarily and was nauseated by the fact the body was still warm. Still, he bagged it up and we went back in the house, where he took my prize then to the garage and dumped it in the trash can.
Sidenote, Dad: MY PRIZE KILL IS NOT TRASH! HUFF!!!!!
He did gratuitously reward me with treats and praise my hunting skills though, so I allowed him to pet me.
Here is my message to Squirrel Nation: You have been warned. One of yours dead can be just that, just one, a symbol of delineation of what’s mine (the world) and what’s yours (nothing). Or it can be the start of something terrible, something bloody…and something I will win anyway.
Now it’s your move. I’ve made my stance clear. What are you going to do?