We’re still having intermittent internet and phone outages, and still waiting for them to change the poste at the end of the garden – which is riddled with woodworm and carpenter bee tunnels – and, hopefully, install a new cable at the same time.
This morning, having glimpsed a red squirrel run across the road ahead of me, I was reminded that last time we had problems, the telecom guy blamed las ardillas. He re-strung several lengths of cable before we realised that in fact someone had cut through the cable while trying to tidy up the excess ivy. (However much I complain about the telephone company, I’ll admit they were more than reasonable when they didn’t charge us for that.)
Where I lived as a teenager, there were plenty of grey squirrels in the parks; they used to come and raid the litter bins on the school field, and were mostly tame enough to be fed by hand. Several of the people I visit in the UK have squirrels who visit and eat the nuts left out for the birds.
Here in Spain, though, they’re ardillas rojas – proper Tufty-style creatures, with clean white bellies and bracken-coloured fur and brushes, who tone very well with the colours of autumn.
This is just a verse from a longer poem called Hoopoe Morning:
This morning, a red squirrel chatters at me
from the rusty gate, performs
an acrobatic dance, then, blackbird-warned,
he disappears through tumbling undergrowth.
Glaring from knee-high weeds
a ragged cat accuses me.