The Little Creature’s Heaven

Mornings watching rabbits and squirrels

     When first I arrived back in the Americas to begin my Journey into the Heart of Fishing, I had purchased a small plot of land near a small lake. Nothing grand, not suitable for anything other than sitting. Which I did quite frequently.

   I still had no real superintendent as to what God had wanted me to do after I left the halls of academia. My frame of mind had grown quite lackluster. I was questioning the scope and my objective on the new path Jesus had laid before me. 

   My wife and I had a residence by the small lake and there was an abundance of wildlife that lived in the area. I got genuinely familiar with their comings and goings in the morning. My own little nature cogitation. It at least made getting up to go to face the day appealing until Jesus had revealed more of what I was to do now to me. 

   I will continue writing in my journal as always but to what end? 

   What am I doing in this sequester Lord? 

  He will answer when he is ready. He usually gives us his plan in stages, and we understand the lesson after it has ended.

    My wife was doing quite well in our new surroundings. For a botanist the wildlands were a playground of flora and fauna. I do not have any expertise in her field, I only know that it brings her great joy and this in turn brings me great joy. Her smile and enthusiasm raise my spirits in ways I cannot describe. I am blessed by her presence. Thank you, Jesus.

  Learning to fish was proving to be a new grievance and, in more abundance, than I had anticipated.

    For creatures that seem to act on instinct only, they have proven to be quite elusive.

Perhaps I lack proper technique.

I am politely stating a fact of my shortcomings to myself as not to warrant my exclusion from this endeavor. I will learn to fish. Eventually.

   The mornings while I observe The Little Creatures Heaven, which is what I would come to call it, and the evenings with her were my favorite parts of the day. The part between was improving all the time though. Good beginning, good end, the middle will become the same. Eventually.

Optimism has rarely been far from my grasp.

    Eventually I noticed one peculiar rabbit that came to the same spot every morning to sit and have his morning meal. He would come out of the tall grasses and sit on the shorter turf and chew his little heart out on whatever it was he liked so much at that spot. I like to think it was the ambiance of the location that made him choose it. It was a favorable little piece of chattes real. If I was a rabbit, I would probably have been inclined to do the same. I too was residing here.

Brilliant minds think alike, my small friend.

    A few feet away from him there was a squirrel who had taken up lodging in an oak tree right above the rabbit’s land. He would sit and ruminate on acorns all morning. Staring out into the sky like he had not an apprehension in the world. 

   It was unmistakably The Little Creature’s Heaven; I had thought it might be. These were the lucky ones. They found THE PLACE. Perhaps I have as well. Their peacefulness and wholeness had beguiled me.

   My scrutiny of this grew exponentially every morning and I found more joy here than I had anticipated.

     If only I could grasp Fishing in this way. I know there is peace to be had in that occupation. AS of now it still eludes me, as do the fish themselves. Eventually though.

  Even the Ospreys that lived there didn’t seem to bother them. They had a nest 15 feet above them, but not once did they ever try to harm either of them. Fish were definitely carte de jour but only from the opposite side of the lake. The ease of which the pair of them arrested many kinds of fish for their cuisine humbled me. They make it look so easy.

   The entire landscape was as good a model of how the world should be as there has ever been, unless you were a fish from the other side of the lake. 

  I had no idea how territorial creatures can be. There were fish right in front of the Ospreys nest, yet they never predated upon the ones there. Always from the other side of the lake. I’m sure there is some rationale to it, but I do not care to inhabit the understanding of why things are how they are any longer. 

    I’m making note of the way things are and that is all. God’s understanding and reasoning is greater than mine and I trust in Him. Always.

    This is what my morning had become. Me sitting quietly with my meager breakfast and watching The Little Creature’s Heaven. It was . . . Harmonious.

   It would be inaccurate if I said I wasn’t a little envious of them.

    Lucky little things. Thank you, Jesus, for such a blessing.

     Then off I’d go to the duties of my life. Whence this was partaking most of my duties were ineffective attempts at catching a fish. By the time I got home they were all safe and sound in whatever little homes they had built and sleeping more soundly than I probably ever will or ever have. It eased the tension of my frustrations against a creature I seem incapable of arresting.

Then I would listen to the tales of local plant life that seemed to excite my wife to no end. Her fascination with these things has always made me smile for reasons I still don’t understand and probably never will. She knows I have no true understanding of what she is speaking and am only listening because I enjoy hearing her voice. I pay attention to keep her talking and she is quite aware of it. I could not begin to repeat what she is saying, which I think makes her smile even more. She knows she is smarter than me. I do too. She is a constant source of optimism and good character. She inspires me as does The Little Creatures Heaven.

   Yes, Envy of The Little Creatures Heaven occasionally crossed my mind in my morning routine not usually for any length of time, but it did happen. I went to sleep every night peacefully and patiently but in the morning observation. Sorry Jesus I know our time is coming.

They get to know each other

    After a while the little squirrel and rabbit became aware of each other's residence. As the days went by, they started inching their way closer to each other. An occasional Hello or a wave sometimes. It looked like they were becoming friends. It was quite admirable even if it only existed in the way I had perceived it. I had no validation that such things are authentic in nature.

   I was as intrigued by this as anybody would be. I didn’t know that squirrels and rabbits interacted with each other at all, much less that they acted like associates, but here it was.

 Closer and closer they got. Then one day they were sitting right next to each other. Each eating his own little food and looking quite content. It made going to attempt my embarrassment in fishing that much harder.

    I had lost faith in my fellow beings before coming here. The institutions to which I made attempts, and some success, to comply with had lost their way and in the process, I removed myself from them. My only contact with humans on most days was with my beloved wife. She is an exception to the world and better than I am. My previous investments in time would have fared better if they had looked to one like her instead of who they had been. Mainly themselves.

    My faith in the rest of humanity has shown no signs of growing kinder at present. They are lost and yet remain under the illusion they know the way or can forge it themselves. 

Hubris!

 Every morning though I had a little neighborhood that acted like people should. The Little Creatures Heaven.

  My envy turned into Admiration. 

   They even used to play in the manner most infantile mammals do. Like puppies per say. A lot of rolling around like they were fighting, running after one another, It almost seems as though they were having fun.

   It was hilarious. 

     The rabbit was about 5 times the weight of the squirrel but would let him win sometimes to keep him in good spirits. That’s how it looked anyway. Their interactions were astonishing and yet natural. Where have you put me, Lord?

    My morning was actually becoming quite nice. Such a happy little woodland I look at. I am blessed.

He works in mysterious ways indeed.

    The thought of maybe emulating the way they lived did cross my mind.

They don’t work. They just live and eat and sleep and are pretty happy little creatures. Then reality would crush my fantasy. 

    I don’t like the food they eat. I don’t like being dirty.  I’m not comfortable in a nest.  I’m sure they have to deal with insects of all kinds which I care not to habitat with. I also like to travel and see new places. So that was the end of that little daydream. My observations of The Little Creature Heaven would continue though. I am sure there is some purpose as to why I am witnessing these events and I do find them agreeable, especially in leu of my inability to retain a fish from the waters where it resides.

It all went south

   It seems that I was not the only one envious of the two of them in their little terrene. Others had been watching. Not the ones you would think, like the Ospreys or some other diabolical creature. Oh no. Envy was coming from somewhere unimaginable. And it was coming in force. Like a mob. An angry mob of jealous creatures. This time envy was coming in the form of other squirrels. The natives had become restless, and their intentions were not benign.

    For weeks it had just been the two of them in their little Heavenly habitat, but others had been on the sidelines and watching. They didn’t like what they saw either.

    Envy was becoming jealousy.

    Now it was starting to look more like the world I had previously been akin to. 

    Unfortunately.

   One morning I went out with my morning decoction and took my seat to watch The Little Creatures Heaven that got me going. Except this morning things were different. There were a lot of noises that hadn’t previously been there. Something wicked had crept into the Garden.

    Several other squirrels were on the side of the tree that my little resident was usually next to. They were making all kinds of commotion. I can only assume this was the squirrel equivalent of name calling or shaming, maybe even a little baiting to boot. It looked like they were trying to get their courage up to pick a fight.

   

  The way those people of no true character or resolve have to talk for a while before they actually make an attempt to act. Usually this can be attributed to a general lack of fortitude or merit. In the terms of the sailors on the voyage over “They had no salt”

   The delusions of grandeur they suffer from make them feel more resilient than they are. Safety in numbers seems to be the rule of thumb for those who lack fortitude. My faith is in Jesus not people, except for one. 

Cowards!

      A lot of banter with little substance or activity. 

    This is exactly what it looked like the new mob of squirrels was doing.

    Well, they were attempting too anyway.

  The usual resident, squirrel and rabbit didn’t seem to be intimidated. They just sat like it was just another day. Eating. Laughing. Playing. Rolling around. Life was good, for them.

    The lack of response just seemed to make the mob even more angry. The less attention they got the louder they became. Bark, bark, bark.

    At some point I think the squirrel had heard enough. Their endless clamoring must have been like the proverbial buzz of a mosquito to him. Eventually we all try to swoosh it away. Not because it can hurt us but because it is just annoying.

   He barked back as if he was saying “You can keep talking but I’m done listening. Bite or keep quiet. You’re not scary, just loud. I dare you to provoke me. gentleman”

   Then it was quiet for a moment. 

The mob was startled. They honestly had no real plan on what to do if tactics failed and their would-be victim just went about living the life they had been blessed with.

    And what did they have to be afraid of? Not even the Osprey messed with them. They were in Heaven. The mob had nothing they wanted. 

They had everything that the mob did though. At least for the moment. Some things in life have to be earned not stolen to be of any true value.

    Ahhh jealousy. Such a human characteristic. 

    The Irony in this is that the rabbit and squirrel probably wouldn’t have minded if the mob visited and been respectful. They weren’t going to be bullied out of The Little Creatures Heaven by anybody. Some things really are worth fighting for. Even by rabbit and squirrel standards.

  I decided to delay my attempt to remove any fish from the lake this morning. I was beguiled by this event and under no circumstance could I foresee would I miss the resolution.

    After a while the mob’s false pretense of courage had instilled itself in them again and they started barking taunts. Squirrel Slanderous attacks were being hurled once again. 

    They didn’t have the same bravado this time. It took them a moment to get the chorus of insults back in harmony. Bark, bark, bark.

   Then the little squirrel BARKED BACK GAIN.

   “I’ve warned you once. I won’t tolerate your behavior. Keep it up and you'll provoke me to an action you have not foreseen, but make no misjudgment, gentleman, it will happen.” I was impressed by his stalwart stance in the face of more numerous foes. The good book says that God does not give us a spirit of fear. This one was unafraid and in the right. A mob's worst nightmare.

   Then the mob scampered off.

  They didn’t quite seem to have the courage of their convictions that the two permanent residents did. They simply went back to enjoying life again. Eating, laughing, playing, living. Heaven.

    The mob made a couple of attempts to provoke them from a distance, but it was completely ignored. As long as they kept their distance the rabbit and squirrel couldn’t seem to care less.

Which slowly began to frustrate the mob. Their anger was about to make them make a huge miscalculation in judgment as anger usually does. Unless we are the ones being provoked for no fault of our own. There is such a thing as Righteous Anger.

    They came back to the nice resident squirrel tree and started barking again.

    The nice squirrel just looked at them and they got quiet.

    If the mob had any intelligence present in them, they would have either apologized or moved on to a new endeavor. There was something clearly different about these two and they were not afraid of malignant usurpers trying to intrude on their little piece of Heaven.

    Then it happened. The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. One of the degenerates got on the ground and tried to say something.

    Before he got it out the nice squirrel was assailing him. He moved faster than any creature I have ever witnessed or even heard of save some form of mythological beast

    They had been warned. They just had not listened.

    It looked like a big rolling ball of gray and white fur. The barking had turned into squealing, and it wasn’t the nice squirrel that was begging for mercy. The nice squirrel had already shown mercy in their previous attempts to provoke him. It was too late now. 

   It was time for a lesson in courtesy and it would not be kind.

    They would spin and stop. The nice squirrel was always on top when it came to halt. As soon as the malicious one tried to move the frenzy would ensue again. 

   The Nice squirrel was done being nice and the mob was in shock.

    Horror was on the face of all onlookers. Except one. The rabbit.

   It went on for a few minutes before the rest of the mob started to get any courage up. Then they barked a little and crept closer until they were finally on the ground. 

This was a HUGE error in judgment. These intruders had no intelligence about them whatsoever. 

     Rabbits can’t climb trees and this one was waiting for this opportunity to present itself, and it had.

  Two squirrels ran to help their nefarious friend but were cut off by the rabbit. With a quick kick of his back legs both of them went soaring through the air and out into the lake. Their part in the story was over. They headed for the opposite shore and did not stop until well out of sight. They had not been informed of the magnitude of what failure meant in this little place 

Hubris!

   This left only two more of the mob. Neither of which looked like it had any idea of what to do. This wasn’t supposed to happen. We were to instill fear in them, and they would in turn surrender without opposition. If that did not proceed to plan, we would take it by force. We have superior numbers. (Not superior, just more would have been a more accurate description)

   This is not going according to plan. Who are these people?

   They decided flight would be the best option at this time. 

WRONG AGAIN! None of them would escape unscathed at this point. They had been given every opportunity to avoid it, they chose something else.

   The nice squirrel had beaten the nefarious one so bad he couldn’t move. He just laid there weeping. Waiting to be told he could leave. That wasn’t going to happen. Not YET!

    So, the nice squirrel cut off the other two and chased them around the tree. Right into the rabbit. Two more squirrels went flying through the air never to be heard of again. The Ospreys were in flight over the lake, but I did not witness their involvement in their disappearance. Though it is true they only predated from the other side of the lake.

    I had no idea rabbits and squirrels could coordinate attacks until I saw it happen. This was definitely a more suitable and memorable morning than a frustrating attempt to catch a fish.

    Then the two of them approached the ringleader who had been transformed into a shell of who he was. In reality he had never been who he thought he was to begin with. It was all a facade that had been ripped from its veneer by force and what lay on the ground before us was the true character of the usurpers that had come to destroy and steal.

 He laid there shaking in fear as if he were making an attempt to plead for his life. There would be no blame given if his request had been denied. Then the squirrel nudged him up.

   Slowly he got to his feet and began to crawl away.

   Then the nice squirrel made one last bark. 

   “I said GO!”

    Limping and hobbling on three limbs and unable to move its tail that was dragging behind him he went as fast as he could.

    My residence is truly an example for the best of us to behold.

    I am now humbled by The Little Creatures Heaven.

 

Afterwords

     After all this the rabbit and squirrel looked like they were laughing. They rolled around. They hoped up and down. They even turned over on their backs and just laid there for a few minutes.

    I’m sure the chatter was something like:

    “Did you see him when I . . “

    “What about those two in the lake?”

    “HA, Ha, ha, . . ..”

  “They won’t be back. EVER!”

   For the next few weeks, it was as if nothing had ever happened. The squirrel and rabbit out there every morning: Eating, laughing, living. All was well in The Little Creature's Heaven.

    This was the best fight I have ever seen and one of the most intriguing things I have ever witnessed in the animal kingdom.

    There is Hope in this world no matter where it comes from.

    My wife will be in awe of our little residents. The Little Creature's Heaven.