This is "Munfred the squirrel" and I chose chocolate mousse. Hope you enjoy it.
My name is Munfred. I’m a squirrel. Yes, you heard me right a squirrel, a golden mantled ground squirrel to be exact and no I’m not a chipmunk. Chipmunks are silly frivolous creatures. The golden mantled ground squirrels are regal and intelligent. I’m the second youngest of 6, and I’m the only boy. Now maybe you would understand the significance of this, if you understood the rest. Let me tell you a story.
The world I live in is a place where there are buildings that touch the sky and there are strange creatures, the funaga, who think they own everything. They built the strange building and the machines. They don’t do anything for themselves. They’re so lazy and thoughtless.
They don’t own the mountains though, that’s where we live. When it is warm I spend the days scouting for food with my sisters. I always have to keep watch for my sisters and my little sister Millie is a handful. Always looking for pretty flowers and eating all the berries before we’d get back to the burrow. No matter how many times I would tell her we would need it for the cold. When it was deep cold we would stay in the burrow and sleep but then we would have only the food we had gathered when we woke. A big family like us needed a lot but she just didn’t understand. Nor would she ever listen.
None of my sisters did ever listen to me. I remember one day when we were foraging, well I was foraging, Missy, Mina and Maree my three oldest sisters where playing weasel and foxes; a game where they would pretend to be a weasel or a fox and chase each other through the bushes until they were caught. Maddie was lying in the sun and Millie was ‘exploring’ whatever that means. I was trying to find enough nuts and berries for us all to carry home, while keeping an eye out for real foxes and weasels and bobcats and coyotes when Millie came running back with a strange plastic tub of brown stuff.
“Ooh look Millie found funaga food” Maddie said as she poked at it. The others stopped playing and gathered around her strange treasure.
“We have to go now. I told you not to go off on your own” I said rushing to pick up as many of the berries and nuts to carry back to the burrow. Dropping them in my rush I scurried to pick them up again. As per usual, the girls did not listen to me. I think there may be something wrong with them. Or maybe girls just can’t understand what it means to be sensible. While I emptied my cheeks and left the berries back in their piles, the girls had poked a hole in the plastic and were sniffing at the strange fluffy brown stuff. It smelt strange and it was so soft, Maree was poking at it and it just mashed into a strange sludge like the moss on rocks.
“I bet you’re too scared to eat some Munfred” Mina said to me as I stood up to check for foxes again. I stopped looking and stared at her.
I was mortified. Afraid. Munfred the 3rd afraid. How dare she imply such an autoicous falsehood? So I poked at it cautiously and then I quickly, with my eyes closed sucked it off my claw. It was delicious. It made my heart race and all I wanted to do was run around. So I did. Not long after we were all running around and playing, our hearts racing and the taste of the delicious ‘brown froth’ on our tongues.
We chased each other and hid behind rocks and ate berries and seeds as we did. That was when a hungry jay flew down; it was just a tail away from snatching Missy away. My heart stopped for a second. I stood up and cried a warning then we ran franticly under and around the rock maze and all the way back to the burrow. Later that night when our mother was scolding us, and my stomach was doing flips and turns, I was reminded that I should never listen to my sisters, ever.
Oh however did I get so off topic? I’m sorry let me start again. My name is Munfred the 3rd and I am a golden mantled ground squirrel and no I’m not a chipmunk and my sisters and I survived the end of the world.
Jenny was a squirrel, small and furry. She had large, luminous brown eyes and a long bushy tail. She could talk to certain humans - when she wanted to – and became great friends with a man named Jacob Obernewtyn who lived in a strange stone building near her tree. Jacob had a painting on his arm that Jenny liked. When she asked what it meant, Jacob told her that it was a symbol of the land his lady came from. He called it the Southern Cross, though Jenny thought it looked more like a diamond than a cross.
Jenny would often visit Jacob and his friends to share their food. She was particularly fond of the sweet fluffy food they called chocolate mousse. It made her feel all warm inside, like sitting in her tree on a warm summer’s day.
One day a woman came to visit. Jacob called her Futurerteller, though this was not her real name. Jenny was very interested in what Futurerteller had to say, though the message was ominous.
Jenny saw at once that trouble was on the way and scampered off to tell the other squirrels and beasts the news.
“We have to be ready for the Bad Thing coming from the moon.” She told them. “It will make our homes a horrible place and will kill any that do not leave.”
Some of the other animals were not interested in what Jenny had to say, but most listened intensely as Jenny explained what they had to do.
“Do we really need to live in the stone building?” grumbled an equine.
“If you want to survive you do.” Said Jenny.
“Surrounded by walls of stone?” asked another, followed by many more, similar, questions.
“Yes!” Jenny had hoped that there would be less asking and more doing. “We have to move now. The Bad Thing will happen very soon.” She stamped her little foot and took off toward Obernewtyn.
Jenny was glad to see the beasts coming along after her and that Jacob was so friendly toward all of them. She helped to organise spaces for the different breeds and saw that they had food and water and bedding. She knew that they would survive the Bad Thing and that their descendants would be able to live in the area for ever.
The full moon is shining almost as bright as day as I carry a last load of nuts back to my nest. I am not normally out this late, but the moon’s glow is bright enough to see by and time to prepare is short. As I scurry alongside a funaga house, I hear the telephone ring. Knowing whose house it is, I stop at a window to listen as the old woman answers the phone.
“Hello. Margaret Seraphim speaking.
Oh, it’s you Jacob.
What? Calm down, I can’t understand a word you are saying.
Hannah? No she’s not here, I haven’t heard from her in days. Last I knew she was on her way back to you.
I know she has managed to get you all worked up about the Sentinel uplink tomorrow, but really, there is nothing to worry about. I’m sure they will have ironed out any issues. After all, such a dangerous and high profile project...
No, I already told you, I don’t know where she is. Maybe she stopped to visit Cassie. Those two have become nigh inseparable.
Yes, why don’t you try calling her?
We must catch up properly soon, but I have to get back to making the chocolate mousse for the Obermeet tomorrow. Give my love to Hannah when you find her.
Yes. Ok, bye.”
As she heads back to the kitchen I scurry off. Foolish funaga. They have the warnings but refuse to prepare; the long winter is coming. An unnatural winter caused by their own arrogance and pride. Ahead of me I can see the stars, shining brightly. The Southern Cross is rising: Crux.