CAROL PERKINS:

CAROL PERKINS

Guy stood at the living room window looking out to the front yard.

“Come look,” he said. “Tammy and Sammy are fighting.”

I rushed to the window and sure enough, they were going at it, slinging their heads and swishing their tails. Something was between them; was it a nut?

Tammy and Sammy are our pet squirrels. They don’t know they are pets because they do not have a close relationship with us, but we watch them as they play, run up trees, jump across limbs and slide down branches. We watch them dig in my flower bed – looking for flowers bulbs – and we sweep off the cracked nuts they have left on the deck from the hickory tree in the yard. (I can’t blame that on the birds.)

We don’t know which is Tammy or which is Sammy. Guy will declare he has it figured out because Tammy, he says, is more aggressive, but then he gets confused when they are together. I can’t tell the difference except the one in the lead must be Tammy. She will scale a tree and he will follow. She will jump a limb and he will follow.

When Guy was working in his office one morning, he felt something looking at him. Sitting on the brick ledge behind his window was Sammy, watching him through the window as he worked. How did he know it was Sammy? He vowed that Sammy was more business-minded. When Sammy realized Guy had spotted him, he scurried off the porch, through the yard and up the big tree shading the front of the house. Watching Sammy and Tammy is a sign of not having enough to do. Naming wild animals is a sign of needing a pet (a dog would be nice).

There is also a lizard Guy watches (I want to kill it, but after so long, I now have feelings for it). He calls it Ernie. The other day that varmint got inside the house (I wrote about it) and nearly gave me a heart attack. The next time that happens, there won’t be anything but a flattened lizard swept out the door and into the grass. As I was putting up the hose one day, he was inches away. I jumped, scared him, and he disappeared into a hole in one of the bricks, causing me to wonder where he went.

When I go out the back door to water my flowers, Guy often says, “Ernie may be somewhere around.”

He knows how I feel about that pest.

We have deer we haven’t named, but we know there are four of them and one is a baby. We have on occasion raccoon, birds of varying species and a woodpecker or two that have drilled holes in our deck. Now the wasps and bumblebees have a place to hide. I have shot more than one dose of bug spray into those holes, but they circle, land and crawl into the hole.

I don’t get up in the morning hoping to see Tammy and Sammy. I don’t look out the window the way Guy does for the deer to be in the yard, but I do watch the birds while I drink my morning coffee. When I was younger, I was never interested in nature, but the longer I live the more I pay attention to the Sammys and the Tammys of the world.