Courage consists not in hazarding without fear, but in being resolutely minded in a just cause. ~Proverb
“What are you doing on my air conditioning unit?”
“Just looking around.”
“Your lovely yard, for one thing.”
“Yes, it’s lovely. Especially when I’m chasing squirrels in it.”
“No, I think it’s more pleasant this way, with you inside looking out.”
“But I can’t get you.”
“If I make enough noise, my mama will let me out.”
“Maybe. Maybe not.”
“She strikes me as kinder than that.”
“What gave you such a dumb idea?”
“I don’t think she wants dead squirrel in her yard.”
“Who said anything about dead?”
“Doo-dee-doo-dee-doo, this air conditioner is a nice perch.”
“I didn’t know squirrels could sing.”
“Of course we can!”
“You’re singing on our air conditioner.”
“Uh-huh, and a nice perch it is, too.”
“You said that already. What’s so great about it?”
“It’s a wonderful vantage point.”
“Seeing farther. Guessing distances. Avoiding pests like you.”
“Shouldn’t you be in a tree or something?”
“Trees are overrated. Here, I have a nice breeze, sunshine, and no bugs.”
“But there’s no food.”
“Nor am I hungry right now.”
“Wait a minute! You’re the one who leaves corn cobs and apple cores in my yard?”
“Stop that singing!”
“I’m told I have a lovely voice.”
“You couldn’t be more wrong.”
“I’m not wrong about this perch.”
“Yes, you are. Why, you can’t even sleep there.”
“You might fall off.”
“Have you ever tried sleeping in a tree?”
Note: This is an imaginary conversation between my dog Monkey and a yard squirrel who ventured awfully close. For several years now, I’ve been awed by my friend John Howell‘s ability to write an entire story in conversation without dialog tags (you know, that “he said/she said” part). I wondered if I could do it, too. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you know!
Well done, Debbie! Your description of the squirrel’s thoughts matches the picture of him perfectly. 🙂
Thank you, Barbara — I’m glad you enjoyed it! Sometimes, we all need a bit of silliness in our lives!
OMG Debbie, this was BRILLIANT! Sooooooooooooo clever you are! And bravo to you for the no dialogue tags.
I could actually “hear” Monkey and the squirrel talking as I read this.
And being that I love squirrels, I especially loved this one. Great capture of squirrel on the A/C unit. His/her tail is perfect! Cuteness indeed.
Thanks for the enjoyable morning read, my friend. And Happy Labor Day!
Aw, gee, thanks, Ron. I knew you’d love this little squirrel. He was sooo cute that I wanted to bring him inside … but of course, he and Monkey would’ve destroyed the house within an hour’s time!
Hope you’re not having to work today but if you are, that you’re enjoying it. Looks like lots of rain headed your way. Happy Labor Day … Happy rest of your week! xx
Knowing squirrels as I do, I suspect you’ve captured that conversation perfectly. They’re such fun, although I sometimes suspect they enjoy tempting Monkey and his kind, knowing that even if you let him out, they have the advantage. There’s that tree, you know!
Happy Labor Day, Linda! This little guy was so brave to perch on the A/C right outside the window. Monkey was itching to race outside, of course, but I didn’t have the heart to make Squirrel’s life hazardous. Their little brains are only about the size of a walnut, as you must know, and Monkey is surprisingly FAST. He’s a blur when he’s got something to chase after!
I often think I channel my inner squirrel….and my inner chickadee…and CERTAINLY my inner sheltie. So much fun! I bet Monkey was not pleased . OH! Right this very minute I have a few of the 10 turkey babies (who are now teenagers) sitting on my deck railing. Be interesting to channel my inner TURKEY!
Ten turkey babies on your deck? Oh Dawn, I do hope you got their picture! And if you listen carefully, I imagine you can hear them talking to one another, too. When these squirrels race across the yard and up into a tree, Monkey even stands with his front paws on the trunk, trying to get at them!
Thanks, Eliza — and Happy Labor Day!
You were a great success, Debbie. I loved the story and your dialogue was perfect. Thank you for the mention and I’m honored by your work.
Aw, John, ’tis nice of you to say so. I do appreciate all the times you’ve entertained me with your no-dialog-tag stories; thanks for indulging my effort to step outside the comfort zone and try my hand at something unfamiliar.
You did great.
I’m humbled you think so — thanks for telling me!
Yorkie here. I heard mama-dog giggling, so I tipped toed onto her lap. I heard, Debbie, ❤️ THIS!
Monkey, I live to harass the squirrels, birds and cats: RULES here: outside backyard and back patio only for the game of chase. Allowable to harass inside watching out my multiple windows. I absolutely agree with you Monkey that “If I make enough noise, my mama will let me out to the back area.” Momma-dog has a devilish side expressing laughter when dog-powers are in action!
Squirrel on YOUR AC Unit is totally unacceptable, inappropriate and complete torture, Monkey. We must collaborate on a plan. What do you say, Monkey?
Absolutely love Squirrel mentioning “Trees are overrated. Here, I have a nice breeze, sunshine, and no bugs.” One idea is for Momma-dog to take the squirrel’s perch because those are three enjoyments in the back area. And then the chase is on for you Monkey and for me Yorkie. Any other ideas to collaborate?
Yorkie, I Monkey appreciate your empathizing with my plight. Why, that squirrel was right outside the window — I could almost smell him! And there he sat, confident as you please, singing away and teasing me. Huh. I Monkey like your rules, Yorkie. Especially the one that says it’s OUR backyard, not Squirrel’s, and any PESTS who are in our yard are ripe for the chasing! I Monkey know for a fact that Mama enjoys seeing me speed across the yard on the heels of a Squirrel (why she doesn’t want me to capture one, though, is beyond me!) Thanks for stopping by, Yorkie.
The conversation between Monday and the visitor is priceless. To be honest, I didn’t realize it was Monkey until you let the cat out of the bag at the end. Hope all is well with you and yours.
Thanks for dropping by, Frank — glad you enjoyed it. All is fine here. Have missed you, but understand time constraints on blogging. Guess it’s a good thing to take a wee break now and again!
For a long time I’ve said Blogging breaks are good … and important to take. My summer has been busy, so the blog break helped. Even traveled a little.
You did great! The trick to making a conversation understandable without using “he said” is to have the actual dialogue easily attributed to the character that is speaking. And I had no problem knowing which one was Monkey and which was the squirrel. It was funny, too!
How nice of you to say so, Ann — thank you! I’m glad it was understandable. I know how snarky Monkey can be, and I figured this squirrel might be, too. But I love challenging myself, ha!
Haha, a very believable conversation! It’s not squirrels that tease my cat through the window – it’s birds. They wander around on the grass outside laughing at him and he sits on the window ledge chirping and growling. I’m too kind to let him out too, though I think the birds would probably win in a fight… 😉