Friday, November 5, 2010

Ricci and Rocko

I have had a cold and sore throat since Saturday. The only good thing about that are the hot toddies Excy makes before bed (keep them coming, Excellent...). I am no longer a menace to be around, so went out yesterday for a trial run, because tonight we have tickets to 'Wicked.' I have longed to see this play since I read the book, knowing it would be excellent on stage. I wanted to see it on Broadway. I bided my time as the touring productions came closer, and closer...finally it's here! And nothing's going to keep me from going!! Excy finally had the round-up of the 'wild ones' yesterday where he gave them all their shots and had them tested for the year, and the only thing I warned him about was if he got hurt, I would be going tonight. The end. (How's that for a supportive wife? I even tried to get him to change the day...fortunately other than bruises and sore backs, no one was hurt). Anyway back to Wicked: The two leads have gotten excellent reviews. Interestingly enough, they are two best friends in real life, playing best friends on stage.

I need my voice back by Tuesday. I am recording one of my stories for 'Tales of the South,' a radio show on our local NPR which is being syndicated soon. These evenings are fun -- it's at a neat restaurant, where we eat, listen to music, and then the authors record in front of a live audience. The producer said the last six shows have been SRO. Excy and his son Corey (sans cat-hat, see Halloween post below), and my mom will be there, and a few friends are joining the audience. The show airs the fourth Thursday of the month on KUAR FM. I'll post a link so you can listen to the show once it's archived, and I'll also put the story out here so you can read it if you don't care to listen.

The Tale of R&R:



These are not my photos. I wanted to show a flying squirrel gliding and then just how small they really are.

Six summers ago, two flying squirrels that live in the woods around the house decided to leave their tree house and venture out to a new spot. They were young and had just hooked up, having left their parents at age five or six weeks to find a mate.

The first spot they chose seemed excellent at first. Wary of predators, (mainly owls and raccoons) they need some place very high and sheltered. This spot was 10 feet in the air, had a roof, and actually had some screening, which provided protection from the elements and a way to climb around. (Because they don't really 'fly' they glide from high places).

Because flying squirrels are nocturnal, they would be asleep during the day and needed a quiet, dark, protected home. They each brought up one large dried leaf and a few pine needles for their bed, and nestled on opposite ends of the beam. It was an excellent spot.

But after a week, someone spied them sleeping away during the day, and they were pointed out to others. And even though the tall, mostly hairless things seemed to respect their privacy and couldn't peer any closer because they were perched much higher in their nests, Ricci and Rocko were disturbed by the activity and noise. But they decided to stick it out. Things were okay for about a week longer.

But soon, the people were making even more noise, and doing alarming things like banging on wood and dragging things closer to their area. Then they started putting up more screens, making walls were no walls had been. Ricci and Rocko were all for screens, but they didn't want to be 'fenced in!' They knew they'd have to leave and find another place fast.

Ricci went back to the woods. Rocko thought he had found another place nearby, though -- a little wooden box on a pole raccoons and snakes couldn't climb up. He just needed to make the hole bigger...after gnawing a larger entry to his satisfaction, he lived there a few weeks until he was startled from a deep sleep during the day by the face of a monster gaping at him...the thing had opened up one of the walls to check on the house, which was intended for bluebirds.

Thoroughly unnerved, Rocko didn't give up, and a few nights later he discovered another perfect spot. Affixed to a column on the front porch of the house was an empty roosting pocket just perfect for curling into. It was covered with wisteria vine and sheltered by a wood and wire roof to make quick escapes if necessary, and protection from the wind and rain. The best thing of all was the room service! When the monster found out Rocko was now living there, it would leave little food offerings among the vines. Now this was class.

He lived there all summer, until the comings and goings of the family got to be a bit much. One time he stuck his head out and scolded them for making too much noise -- they were running some machine over the grass too close to his home -- during the day! Can you imagine?! So he moved back into the woods were it's quieter and less confusing, but he still likes to hang out by the house at night, where there are treats and easily accessible fruits and nuts to eat.

When the benign monsters come out of the house in the evening he squeaks a greeting so they know he's around and so they'll hustle to throw out some stuff to eat he can't find in the woods. He has them trained pretty well.

13 comments:

Linda Medrano said...

I love this! I too name all critters who come to visit. We get lots of squirrels, opossums, raccoons, the occasional snake, rats, mice, egrets, and the occasional fox. I love them all. The dogs want to eat them all. I guess they love them too, but for a different reason.

Brian said...

I hope you really do get to see Wicked, my Dad and Mom saw it and totally loved it! Hey, of course we name the critters here too. I hope you are on the mend!!!

e said...

I do hope you recover your voice for Tuesday and I can't wait to hear your story...

I am drinking some of the lovely whole leaf tea you sent and wondering if there is something I might send you?

Take care and enjoy the play. We'll await your review.

J.P. said...

I absolutely adore flying squirrels! Love the tale! Will try to make it out Tuesday. Haven't made a reservation yet, though. I'll check into that asap! -Jonelle

Arkansas Patti said...

What a cute flying squirrel story and I just love happy endings.
Looking forward to your appearance on NPR. Sounds like a neat show and I do hope they go national.
I can't get NPR here but do visit my fav's via the internet.

Chris said...

I had a co-worker who kept a flying squirrel for several years. It lived in her sweater. No, really. You would see him moving around in there every so often during meetings. Enjoy the play!

Tam said...

I missed Wicked the first two times it came to Seattle and I will NOT miss it the third! Hope you enjoyed it!

wendy said...

First off, I would LOVE to see Wicked. Hasn't been anywhere I've been.
Glad hubby didn't get hurt, that would be a big job rounding up all the horses and getting them looked at.
and.........HOW AWESOME, that you get to be the voice of a character in a book and do it for a radio show.
such a neat experience
so take care of that voice of yours......HOT TODDIES whoooppee

DAVID McGRIEVEY said...

I'm sure you will enjoy Wicked, I did. As for your voice is concerned, lots of tea and honey, avoid caffeine and booze, take long hot steamy showers, moisture is the key, then Break a leg. I would like to hear it, I enjoy NPR.
X David, NYC
Squirrels do not fly here, people do.

meleah rebeccah said...

I really hope you do get to see Wicked. It's a fantastic play. I also hope you feel better soon! Hot toddies are the best cure! Good luck recording one of your stories for 'Tales of the South,'on NPR !

ReformingGeek said...

I enjoyed the story. Animals are great fodder.

I hope you are feeling better!

Jayne Martin said...

I don't think I've ever seen any flying squirrel where I live, although it is a rural area. We have those pesky little ground critters that make your yard look like the surface of the moon. Wish I could make them fly.

Hope your throat is feeling better. Enjoy a wonderful evening of theater.

Doris Sturm said...

Oh, what an adorable story. Honesty, if I ever saw a flying squirrel, I would think it's a sugar glider because I can't tell the two apart. I think they are adorable, either one.

How fun to be able to see an actual play. I have not been in culture for so long and I miss it terribly. Living in Southern California gave me access to everything my heart desired in plays, shows, concerts...I miss it. What am I doing here????

Well, it's nice to read about your life again. I've been out of commission for a while due to a malfunctioning computer (virus) and am finally trying to catch up again.

Hope you enjoyed your play!

Warm regards,
Doris (and Gizzy)