It was a cold, snowy day as the children in Mr. Nick’s class gathered in the parking lot. We have some new children participating in the winter session class. They started introducing themselves, unaware of two sets of eyes watching them from behind some bushes.
"I can’t see! Get out of the way!" A unknown voice hollered.
"Just hold on. I want to see what they’re doing!" Another voice bellowed.
"So do I!" The creature started climbing over the other.
"Get off of me!" The creature below shook wildly, causing the other to fall.
"Let’s try not to get seen, okay?! They already saw you running once! They could have captured you!”
The animal that had fallen was in the sunlight. She had red, dirty fur from rolling
"Whatever, Flare. I bet they like foxes,” she said.
"Uh oh! Hurry up, Flame! they’re coming this way!"
The group was completely unaware of these two foxes. They continued on their journey, chattering like squirrels.
"Why must they talk so much?" Flare questioned as she peeked her head out from some bushes.
"I think they’re friends. Too bad we can’t be friends because we are twins." Flame replied, rolling around.
Not long after the kids started playing a game called wolves and white tails, also known as wolves and caribou, they threw socks at each other. The foxes thought this was odd.
"They don’t look like wolves to me! They look like puny little kids." Flare snorted. "Let’s get going before we get seen!" She got up carefully then began running in a random direction.
"Wait for me!" Flame hollered, running after her twin sister.
They ran around the woods, destroying random snowmen that the kids had made. After a while, they rested by a log that crossed the river to the other side. This was the only way across the river.
Suddenly, Flame rose her head. "Do you hear that? Silly squirrels are causing a ruckus!"
"Those aren’t squirrels! Those are humans!" Both of the foxes bolted up as they heard footsteps.
Flame ran across the log, Flare running in her footsteps. They ran up the hill and darted in different directions.
"Flame! This way! Follow my footsteps!" Flare shouted.
"But this way is more safe!" Flame argued.
"No it isn’t!" Flare argued back.
"Fine." Flame followed her sister.
"See, these are fox tracks," a tall human, who probably wasn't a kid, pointed to the log.
A not so large group of kids gathered around the log. “Wow!”
The foxes continued their journey. Both the foxes made it to a broken car site. They went inside and messed around for nearly half an hour. Suddenly, the silly squirrels started chattering again.
"Do you hear that?" Flare jumped out of the car. "I think they’re coming back!"
"They couldn’t be! They had lots of trouble not being able to cross the log, remember? They climbed the sides which probably took them awhile."
"Well, I think awhile is over. I hear footsteps!" Flare bolted behind a large tree.
The children started appearing, and Flame bolted after her twin sister. The group sat down in a drainage. They dropped sticks into a pile and started sorting them.
"I’m doing the really thin sticks."
"I’ll do the thick ones, then."
After sorting the sticks, some of kids wandered off and others started assembling them into a fire. After a while, there was hollering and screaming. Flame peeked out from the tree and saw the children throwing snowballs.
Wait a second, Flame thought. I think they've multiplied! There’s so many more!
The kids finally settled down, gathering around a fire that had just been lit. They started eating, warming food on the fire, and again, chattering like squirrels! Some stood up beside the drainage and started talking while others would listen. Something about a moose and a leprechaun, angry trees and a squirrel eating something called popcorn.
Maybe that’s why they talk so much, because of whatever popcorn is! Flame thought. But how do humans hear trees? I can’t hear trees, but maybe squirrels do! They must be squirrels! Flame was so deep in thought she hadn’t even noticed that one of them was talking about knife safety.
"C’mon Flame, they’ll spot you!" Flare whispered, running behind another tree.
They hopped across a little stream and ran into the woods. The small group had followed them again, so they stayed behind a tree for a long time. The humans looked around, heading for the log right by the foxes. They started collecting sticks, and eventually, rolling giant snowballs. They built a shelter, squishing themselves inside. Finally, they started headed back.
Flame noticed that Flare had fallen asleep in the shelter. I’ll follow them by myself, then, she thought.
Flame followed the group. All the kids gathered up and started hitting each other with snowballs. Whoever got hit had to touch a tree.
These ‘kids’ are unusual, Flame thought. Hitting each other with snowballs? Maybe they have declared war. Squirrel war.
The kids started heading back and Flame followed. The kids stopped by the side of a road, saying their names again and what part of the day they enjoyed. Finally, they all separated, said goodbye to each other,and got into their odd rectangular thing which rolled on the ground. Flame headed back to Flare to tell her about these chattering squirrels disguised as humans.
Photo by Nick