Squirrel was still struggling to keep up with his annual nut harvest; he couldn’t remember another year with quite so many acorns raining onto rooftops and walnuts littering the ground. He was so perplexed, in fact, that he had gone to the woods that morning to ask his eldest cousin if she could recall another year such as this.
Squirrel reached his cousin’s tree — a large black walnut — and scampered up.
And while walnuts rained down, landing in the grass around them — thwump! — at a steady clip, Squirrel’s cousin told a story — thwump! — that she had heard from their grandfather — thwump! — about a year, when he was just a little squirrel, that there were so many acorns and black walnuts — thwump! — the entire family decided to stop gathering nuts — thwump! — and, instead, help his mother test new walnut and acorn recipes — thwump! — for the cookbook she was busily writing.
(Late October 2023)