The squirrels, the boy and the bread

(based on a real story)

Susana Cortés

The squirrels

It had been a long winter, and it didn’t seem to be getting to an end yet. As much as the squirrels, ravens, hedgehogs and all the other denizens of the park had worked hard during spring and summer getting a good stash of food for the winter, their rations were almost gone. The squirrels were therefore adventuring near the humanly inhabited areas of the park, searching for food that did not grow from the trees.

The boy

It was a beautiful freezing morning: blue sky, spongy white clouds, and crisp air. Valentín and his mum left the house and headed to the playground, stopping on the way to get a freshly baked loaf of bread, his favourite. He got a little bit of the bread and munched it while riding the pushchair, on the way to the park. The rest of the loaf was wrapped in a paper bag, and put into the basket under the pushchair. When they got to the playground, Valentin went down and ran to climb the pirate ship, the slide and the net.

The bread

Something smelled good near that area of the park where little humans played. Two squirrels tracked the smell all the way to the pushchair. They knew there was something good in there, but it was all wrapped and it was big. They called two more squirrels and studied the situation. The ravens had smelled it too, and they were nearby, paying attention.

Valentin’s mum said it was time to go home. He didn’t want to go yet, so she said: one last slide. When they were ready to go home, they walked towards the pushchair. Then they saw (or didn’t see) something strange: there was a squirrel on the pushchair seat, and the bread was missing!

A few meters away from the pushchair, a group of squirrels were pushing the loaf of bread while biting it, and two ravens were eating a couple of bits left in the way. The squirrels had saved the day! Or actually, a few days.

Valentin had mixed feelings: a bit sad because his favourite bread was gone, happy for the squirrels, but overall quite amazed that they had managed to carry a huge loaf all the way out of the pushchair towards the trees!

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