Last year was just the first time, but that was all it took. It was tradition now for the chipmunk and squirrel children to sleep outside on the night of the autumn feast.
After dinner, the leftover food (there wasn’t much), the candles, and the dishes had all been taken in, and stacks of bedding brought out. The little squirrels and chipmunks wrapped up in blankets and quilts and tumbled into a sleepy pile.
By morning, the children’s quilts and blankets glittered with frost. But as the sun rose over the treetops and shone on the meadow, the adults arrived with pumpkin pie and whipped cream, and pot after pot of hot tea.
(Late November 2023)