By Marian Brennan Pratt
Oriignally Published on October 24th, 2018.
My cousin Sue and I ventured into the thumb of Michigan and rented a cabin on Lake Huron. We were taking our 9 grandchildren on a little vacation. What were we thinking, you ask, we were not. This little gang of malcontents were teen and pre-teen, 5 girls and 4 boys who were somewhat less than enthusiastic. As they walked from room to room, we could feel the doubt oozing out of them, shaking their heads, looking around and asking again, how long were we staying? I guess the place was a little rustic. Megan wanted to know did rustic mean falling apart. Sue said no, it meant lucky to be here. Kate asked: “The toilet is not outside is it?” “Oh, No no no”, I gushed. “See”, I grabbed the bathroom door, threw it open and the knob came off in my hand. They all looked at each other as if to say. Why didn’t I work harder on my excuse. ”Let’s eat” said Sue.
Kate announced that she had dibs on the bathtub as her place to sleep that night. What came next was a perfect re-enactment of WWII while the rest of them laid claim to what would be their own sleeping accommodations that night. There were two bedrooms, one large room that passed for a livingroom and one small room at the front of the house which looked like it might have been a converted porch. There was one door connecting both front rooms and an outside door. (You’ll need to know that.)
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I was hauling the rest of our “stuff” out of the car when I thought I saw a shadow or, what? Did something just fly by my head? Or was it my foot? Note to self: Let’s not mention that. Then Ashley let out a yelp and said she felt something run across her foot. She blamed Tommy for kicking her because he was under the table at the time. Tommy said he thought he heard something run under there and he was just looking to see what it was. ”So, what was it”, said one of the pre-panic girls. Didn’t know; Didn’t see anything. “Let’s eat, said Sue” What was that; I saw a blur speed by or did it fly by? Don’t know; didn’t really see anything.
Now we’re all on high alert waiting, looking around. And then we give up – it’s nothing. IT’S NOT NOTHING; THERE IT GOES. Now the girls are shrieking. Shrieking is the highest form of girl noise so, we’re at the top of the angst meter, heading for the get-in-the-car-and-go-home solution. Daniel points to a furry creature running as fast as a squirrel can run toward the front door. Taylor opens the door and hides behind it to let him out but he turns around and speeds back in the other direction. Still plenty of screaming going on. LOOK OUT, HERE HE COMES AGAIN. Sure enough, he races back again through the inside door into the “porch” which is full of people standing on chairs. He tries to stop himself but he is traveling so fast, he piles into the outside door anyway, upended himself, shook it off and took another run through the inside door. Emmy, quick as a flash, jumped off her chair and slammed the door after him, then climbed back up on her chair again.
A great cheer went up from those on the front door side but those of us that just got shut in with the varmint were not all that content. From there Squirrelly (Brennan had chosen a name) just runs in whatever direction seems like a good idea at the time.
The poor little terrified creature escaped to one of the bedrooms and took refuge under the bed. Big mistake. Daniel now had him trapped and when the girls said “What are you going to do with him now” “Well, kill it” he said like a boy would say. The girls started to protest, high and loud, more angst than ever before. Daniel said “You wanted me to catch him and now you don’t want to kill him. What if he crawls in bed with you tonight. What’ll you do then, huh? Make up your minds”
They started badgering poor Daniel throwing some guilt in with the argument, some “You’ll be sorry” a little “But he’s so cute” and I might have even heard some fractured version of a bible quote. They finally convinced him to let the almost unconscious little thing go free.
On his way to sleep on the “porch” that night Daniel was concerned, “I hope they didn’t make a mistake not letting me get rid of that squirrel”.
I laughed, “Oh, Daniel, you were never going to kill that squirrel anyway, You Big Faker. ”
”See now, What makes you think…blah, blah. Blah
I wasn’t listening. I was thinking or rather remembering a day when I was not feeling well so I could not eat thanksgiving dinner with our extended family. I got up from a nap and I had recovered. Daniel had waited for me so I didn’t have to eat alone.
Come on now, Any boy who is that good to his gramma will not pose any danger to a squirrel.
Marian Brennan Pratt held the position of Church Secretary at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in the Village of Emmett, Michigan for 24 years. She has four grown children: Barbara, Suzanne, Bernie and Steve, seven grandchildren: Daniel, Kaitlynn, Emily, Ashley, Taylor, Brennan and Benjamin, one great-grandchild: Paislee and another on-the-way. While a member of the community, she joined the ladies of the parish in a Book Club, was a member of Daughters of Isabella #452 and a past member of the Village Council. Marian lives in Port Huron now and has always been interested in Journalism which led to her joining the staff of St. Stephen’s High School newspaper, the Stephecho. She has written several articles for the Emmett News and has had a book published, entitled “Emmett Township”, part of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing which plays a large part in the preservation of local heritage.