The Dachshund and the Squirrel

The Dachshund and the Squirrel

A Story by Al R. Arce
"

A story about taking shortcuts, and the value of seeking help.

"
A Dachshund and a squirrel met one day in the woods. As all Dachshunds do, it began to chase the little squirrel. It did not last too long as the long dog could not climb trees. Looking down towards the jumping dog, the little rodent asked him with curiosity? "Why you chase me little dog? I've done nothing to you! I am so skinny, I can barely be an appetizer!". The Dog stopped barking and jumping, and looked at the squirrel with its tiny brown eyes.

"That's what we do! We chase and we hunt!"

"Are you a pigmy dog?" The squirrel asked

"Of course not!", the dog answered in indignation. "What makes you say such a thing?"

"Well," the squirrel said, "You bark like a big dog, you have big ears and nose, your body is robust, but with those tiny legs you can barely make a good chase. After all, I'm smaller than your head, and you could not catch me!"

The dachshund looked at its legs, then at his tail, way at the end of its body. As dogs are not self aware, he replied to the squirrel, "I have no idea what you talking about. I'll just stay here and bark and bark all day and night, until you get tired and come down from the tree.

The squirrel knew she was in a predicament. Thus quickly plotted to get away!

"You silly dog! You're so blind you can't see you are anything but a hunter!"

"I am from german blood! Bred to hunt the fiercest of animals! You come down here and I'll show you what I can do!", the dog said in disgust.

"I'll come down to see your class so long as you promise not to have me for dinner!"

The dog agreed and soon they were both face to face. "OK, dog... What do you have?"

"You name the race. If I beat you, you are mine. If. You win, I will never wonder these woods again."

The squirrel looked around. He pointed at a house, above a hill on the other side of the woods. "That house over there. The Ranger's house. That's where you live isn't it", the squirrel asked.

"Yes!", the dog answered with a grim.

"Well the first one to get there, wins!"

Oh the old Dachshund was smiling alright! He knew all the shortcuts through the forest to make it quick to his owners den. This would be a piece of bone for him. The squirrel on the other hand was also familiar with the territory. She knew that in a straight race she would be no match for the dog. Her hope was that the dog would take the shortcut, but at going through the many obstacles it would have to endure, she could catch up by just trotting through the gravel road. After all, the dog had tiny legs and it did not even realized it! She would travel three times as far, but it would be an easy road

So with not much to say the race started. As the squirrel predicted, the dog went straight to the bush. The first part of the dogs journey was to run through some heavy low bushed plain. She could not see the sky, much less what lay ahead. But rushing as a snake through a meadow, she followed the scent of a creek she knew lay ahead. Her pace was firm, and descicive. There would be nothing to stop her from reaching her destination. The squirrel on the other hand, timidly went to the gravel road she was familiar with. All she needed to do was to be careful of cars and the occasional wild animal she might encounter. By all measures it would be a long boring trek.

The dog found its first obstacle. The bush had become so thick she had become trapped within some vines. She twisted and pulled with all the might of her short but strong legs. She bit the vines and growled in frustration. After a few minutes she was free, but had suffered some abrasions on her skin. After she moved to a clearance, shaded by some trees, she sat down and started licking her wounds. Soon, she started to feel a burning sensation on her behind. Then, it hurt real bad. Unknowingly, she had sat by a fire ant hill, and the little creatures were defending their turf. The Dachshund started to run wi everything she had, while howling in pain for she had many ants still attacking her. She found the creek she was looking for, and without a thought she jumped in the water. It was cold but the pain was soon gone. She allowed herself to drift on the water a bit, while slowly swam to the other shore.

The squirrel's trip had been uneventful, but she knew things were about to change. Then, a pack of four stray dogs appeared out of nowhere, running and barking in a menacing way towards the little creature. She did not move. Stood her ground defiantly, stupidly. As the clash became in imminent, the squirrel stood up on her two hind legs, and at that moment the dogs franticly stopped, making a big dust cloud. They started running the opposite way crying out their fears. The squirrel went back in all fours and turned around. Behind her there was a big skunk.

"How you doing?"' The squirrel asked the skunk.

"Nothing much, just walking around trying to make some friends!", the skunk answered.

"Still a loner!"

"Yeah, it is hard to overcome first impressions"

The squirrel jumped to the back of the skunk and said, "Don't worry. Soon enough you'll find creatures that will see what lies behind the fur. They will accept you for whom you really are, and not because of what you are."

"Thanks! You are a great friend!", the skunk replied

"I'm your only friend! And it was a good think you stuck to your routine, otherwise I would have been dog meat! Can you give me a lift?"

"Where you headed?"

"The Ranger's house. I'm on a race against this stupid dog."

The skunk laughed and said, "It must be really stupid to take you on any wager! I can take you half way, after that you're on your own!"

"Thanks buddy, I appreciate that! Mind if I take a nap back here?"

"Sure, help yourself! None will bother you while your with me!", the skunk assured

Back at the creek, the Dachshund was in a predicament. The current on the creek had become stronger and the dog was having difficulties reaching the shore. The stones were slippery and the dog started to feel fear. A protruding log from a long fallen tree gave the dog the grasp and leverage it needed to pull out of the water. She shook the water of her coat. Fortunately, she was a long hair type so she would not freeze. She was tired but had to move on. There was no way that squirrel would beat her. It was a matter of pride. She now needed to move op a steep climb. Thus with her thick nails she pushed against the soft soil that led up her next stage.

The squirrel had said goodbye to her old friend the skunk. She decided to stop and drink water from a small puddle and eat some fruits that lay on the ground. After a few minutes, her next ride arrived...

"You are late!" The squirrel accused

"You know I'm on my own time" a boar replied!

"I know!" The squirrel shrub her shoulders. "Going to hunt?"

"Nah! I still got some left overs."

"So what are you doing here then?"

The boar laid down and replied, "Old habits are hard to break. I walk this path everyday at the same time, even when there is nothing else to do!"

"You mind if you give me a lift, I'm headed to the Ranger house." The squirrel asked

"Sure, hop on! Why are you. Going there?"

"I'm in a race with this stupid dog..."

"Stupid he is indeed to be in a wager against you. Is it the ranger's dog?"

"Yeah!"

"She is so stupid, she doesn't realize she's a midget!"

They both started laughing out loud as they resume their travel.

The climb was getting very slow. It was steeper than she'd imagine. Then one misstep, and she slipped down hill. She hit rocks, logs and all sorts of objects. When she reached the bottom she was battered and bruised. No time to lick her wounds. Once again she resumed the climb. Half way up, she saw a goat. She started to bark at her senseless. After all that is what Dachshunds do! The goat looked at her in disbelieve. Then turned around and started to walk and hop gracefully along the hill. Only one thought came to her mind, "stupid dog!".

"I'm sorry, but this is as far as I will take you. The Ranger and I don't get along so well, so I wont come close to his place." The boar said.

"That's OK! I think I can take it from here.", replied the squirrel. "Thanks for the lift!, and be careful with the dogs down the road!"

"Don't worry!", the boar replied. "I know a skunk or two that are always in the area!"

"You know two?"

"Yeah, why?", the boar asked.

"The one I know is pretty miserable because it's got no friends." The squirrel stated.

"Don't worry about it. I'll hook them up!" The bore replied with a wink and a smile.

"Awesome!", and the squirrel resumed her journey.

The dog could see the end of the climb. Just a few feet more and it would be nearly over. Slowly, but intent-fully, she moved on until she reached the top. There she was, at her masters home. She slowly and full of pain walked towards the entrance of the house, where she laid down. She got there first. She had beaten the squirrel. She was happy, but it hurt to smile. Shortly after, the squirrel appeared.

"So," the squirrel said. "It looks like you beat me!"

"Yeah! I beat you with my shortcut!" The Dachshund said while still gasping for air.

At that moment the door of the house opened. It was the park ranger.

"Oh my God what have you done!" The ranger yelled in disbelief. He went to his knees and started to inspect the dog. He found cuts, browses , insect bites, a swollen leg, and there was probably dehidration. He lifted the dog with his arms, went to his truck and placed her in the front seat. "We're going to the vet, you stupid dog...!"

And so the squirrel watched as the poor Dachshund was rushed to the Doctor. With nothing else to do but to look at the skyline, the squirrel wondered, "I wonder what the goat might be up to? His lair is not far away and the route to it is not so bad! I guess I'll pay him a visit"

And so, running and hopping as all squirrels do, she went back into the bush knowing, she would not be dog meat for a long time to come.

© 2013 Al R. Arce



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Author's Note

Al R. Arce
In my corporate life I've seen how organizations spend millions to do things faster, only to fail at the end. This is a story about winning, despite loosing, and about how sometimes taking your time and taking the right path is the best way to achieve your goals. Hope you enjoy it!

My Review

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Featured Review

I have a dachshund she thinks she is as big as a pitbull or any dog that comes around
I really enjoyed this story it has many life lessons within
Very well-written also it held my attention and I was rooting for the little squirre
You should be proud of the story is a very good one thank you

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Al R. Arce

4 Years Ago

Thank you. So much! I know reading short stories can be a drag... However I invite you to read Tim.. read more



Reviews

A very interesting read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this :)

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Al R. Arce

2 Years Ago

I am glad it entertained you. Thanks for the feedback!
Excellent story full of lessons.
Great dialogue!
I relate to the dog since
I'm a dachshund owner and lover.
~Claire

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wonderfully penned and truthful story.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I have a dachshund she thinks she is as big as a pitbull or any dog that comes around
I really enjoyed this story it has many life lessons within
Very well-written also it held my attention and I was rooting for the little squirre
You should be proud of the story is a very good one thank you

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Al R. Arce

4 Years Ago

Thank you. So much! I know reading short stories can be a drag... However I invite you to read Tim.. read more
Winner! Great Read (5th place) best short story contest 11/9/2013.

Posted 4 Years Ago


This is adorable, nice analogies! I love dachshunds!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Al R. Arce

4 Years Ago

I got a standard long hair too! She was my inspiration. I tried to convey the Essence of the breed.. read more
I see the same thing at the company I work for - success can't be achieved cutting corners. A very clever story. Well told and a delight to read!

:) Julie

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on November 7, 2013
Last Updated on November 7, 2013
Tags: Fable, shortcuts, help

Author

Al R. Arce
Al R. Arce

St. Louis, MO



About
I'm in my 50's. My family is my life. Writing is my hobby. I hope you find here something that you enjoy. Constructive comments are welcomed. If you ask me to read something I will. Thank you for.. more..

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