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Tatiana Schatten

An Interview with a Sea Squirt

This week, I had the exhilarating experience of being in the company with a most illustrious member of the invertebrate phylum of Chordate. The fascinating personage I had the pleasure of meeting was a colourful and  unusual animal known commonly as the sea squirt. The name of this particular interviewee is Poly, and she was gracious enough to answer a few questions for this article. She presented to me a clear view of some of the wondrous characteristics of a sea squirt, as well  as presenting her rather high opinion of herself. But it is at the beginning of the conversation that I must start, and so I shall.

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The Feather-raising Tale of LP

Based on true events

LP ( Lone Pigeon ) had quite a scare the other day. A few days later, I asked him to return to his feeding ground, but he refused, declaring that the seed there was not worth another such fright. “ My heart almost stopped its beating that very moment,” was his statement after recalling the incidence. So, if a squirrel has not already chattered the tale to you,or if you have not heard the magpie gossip, here is the event which cost LP a few feathers.

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Lessons to Take, Habits to Break, Prt. 2

Based on true events

A few days had passed since I abandoned the lovely basket nest in which I had been raised. But I had another babyish urging to conquer. I, now equipped with a decent knowledge on the use of wings, followed my parents and siblings to where my first bird-buffet was to be. It was a crisp, beautiful patch of green grass which had been generously sprinkled with millet and other types of seed. Ravenously hungry, I began to eagerly to peck the millet up without much thought to my past. Then my mother, who was dining nearby, made the fateful move. She was lifting an especially large mouthful when I happened to look up from my feeding. The immature instinct insisted that I return to my past habits and I surrendered to their powerful assault. With an open bill I raised my head towards her, and fluttering my downy wings, I waited expectantly for the morsel. I must have looked very much like a dog begging from his master’s table. But Mother only looked at me as if pondering whether she should surrender the food or not. But she seemed to have decided against the act, for she only cocked her bright eye at me and continued to feed as if nothing had happened. To be completely honest, I must reveal that I was rather disappointed. Though there was plenty of seed all around me, ready for the taking, I wanted it from her maternal bill and not my own. I put my head to one side, then to the other. What could a puff of feathers like me do? Well, I’m afraid that there was nothing to do but to overcome my indolence and resort to using my own bill. What a puzzle I was! 

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Lessons to Take, Habits To Break, Part 1

Not based on true events

It is very difficult to rid yourself of old habits. It is especially a struggle for those of tender years to renounce their ingrained young ways, and I should know, for I myself was once a fledgling. In those happy days, I was nought but a ball of soft down with a gaping mouth full of baby chirps and peeps. It was  then that my parents ushered me from my nest, and it was then I obeyed with much apprehension. All day I was bruised and battered and bumped and bounced trying to make use of my newly-feathered little wings. I remember more than once I ran myself smack! right against a power pole, for I had not yet learned how to change my direction. I even managed to fall directly into a gutter of a house during a raging storm only to be pushed and tumbled by the tempestuous water within, and shoved down a pipe and placed plop! a ragged wet ragamuffin on the sidewalk below. I surely do not want to go through such an experience again.

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The Territory Trespasser

Based on true events

The robins were aware of Samantha’s mild nature, the nearby skunks knew that she was a patient little rodent, and the snakes did not fear her scoldings, for she was as good as any beast or bird that God made. But when a certain other squirrel ventured into Samantha’s peaceful territory while she was yet within, she surprised and shocked all the other folk of fur and feather. On that day, all who saw her were struck speechless by her astonishing behaviour. The moment she beheld  that bold intruder, she dashed away towards him; a streak of red fury. With a terrified squeal, he rushed to the nearest tree and shot  up its trunk like a lightening bolt with Samantha charging behind him. He had nearly reached its topmost boughs when he suddenly turned aside upon a branch, leapt, and landed neatly in a nearby tree. But Samantha did not even hesitate in her mad pursuit, and she too crossed the trees with equal nimbleness of foot and was again hot on his heels. Now, the fugitive squirrel was scuttling down the new trunk, and just before coming to its root-capped base, bounded back to the first tree. Then up, up, up he went, switched trees, then down, down, down. Again and again he repeated this loop with the infuriated Samantha nearly on his tail. Samantha, though, would not give in. No, she would not permit this trespasser to roam her precious land. No, he must go, he can not stay, he must leave her dominion-except if he wished to suffer the consequences. But the intruder seemed reluctant to leave her happy land.

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Wednesday October 28, 2020