The End of the Beginning

Slowly, one by one the birds were devouring us, the bird we had allegedly surrounded was fake, and was set there as a trap to capture us. They knew we were coming, they saw us. Apparently they wake up at the crack of dawn and sing… said their ancestors used to yodel.

So only Stumpy and I were left un-bloodied by the birds. Who knew birds were so carnivorous? We stood their insignificant to the world as our comrades were dragged from us and eaten. It was like that night, the snapping of bones, the sound of dripping blood, and the screams of the still dieing. Of course we tried to hold them and pull them back if they had been selected. But unfortunately we were no match to the surprising strength of the birds.

It may have been just the major and I for now, but soon it would be just one of us. We needed to get out of there, we would die if we didn't, we needed to escape, but how?

"Brox, got any ideas?" Stumpy spoke quietly in my direction. The birds separated us from one another, they said they wanted one of us to die with the other one to sit there and not be able to help at all.

"Just one, it requires us to run really, really fast but you got only one half a leg, I'd easily out run you by running, plus you'd get their attention by falling down a lot but you'd never escape after that," I answered back with the same quietness he spoke to me originally.

"You're right I won't survive but if one of us gets out of here them that will be good," replied the major.

"Sir, no, I'm not leavening you behind, we'll figure out another plan, one that saves both our hides"

"No, private, I have a duty to protect you and the rest of the squirrels, one of us needs to escape, and tell Bag-O-Nuts that my idea didn't work. We need to wait for another day, to strike, so run, run now while they are still eating our fallen comrade."

I was not one to not follow orders when they were given, but I needed to save him if I could them at least both of us wouldn't die.

The only thing separating us was a one branch and about a two-foot jump to it, I could probably make it, but if I didn't well there was about a 20-foot fall straight down. I stepped back a few inches and started running for the branch. I jumped towards the branch, the look on the major's face was astonished that I was coming for him. I was getting closer, closer… almost there.

I missed.

I fell 20 or so feet straight down. Barely missing the branches as I fell. No, I thought, No, why must I live but he die, why couldn't I have made it to the branch. Of course if I didn't slow my self down soon I wouldn't be able to move any part of my body, in fact, I could die if I didn't do anything.

"Who cares," I mumbled softly.

Then suddenly I wasn't falling it was more like floating, I had my eyes closed the whole time, so I thought it now safe to open my eyes. I opened my eyes to look straight into the furry head of Olly.

"Fancy 'etting you here." Olly said while barley looking back.

"Olly! You son of a flying weasel thanks! But we have to go back to the tree we have to save Major Stumpy!" I said quickly.

"Have you 'ooked behind me lately?" He paused a brief moment, probably to let me look behind us. Behind Olly were about four or so birds getting closer by the second. "I'd 'ove to but I'm kinda busy."

Nuts! To get so close only to have gone backwards, I could see the tree clearly from the height, but there was no way I could survive a drop to the tree from this height, which gave me an idea.

"Olly you have to slow down, slow enough that I can jump onto one of the birds." I chattered quickly.

"ARE 'OU CRAZY, I could ask if your nuts but you being a squirrel-"

"Olly! Just do it! You know me better than everyone else, remember, you adopted me into your clan. Please for the honor of the High-Air Clan you have to listen to me!"

Olly kept flying forward but would shoot back looks into my eyes to see if I was lying, "I guess since you're kin and all I could 'o it, but you have to tell your friend that sitting the hall of Sacred Air is 'onsidered rude and could have g'tten him a life time of 'otten luck. Of course, where is he now?" he chuckled at the last part.

"Olly!" My voice rising.

"Sure kin I do your crazy job," As he said this he started to slow down I a few short seconds I would be right where I wanted to be.

As the birds got closer I got more and more anxious, they might be to tired to do what I had in mind. As the first bird approached I shoved all other thoughts out of my mind and jumped towards the bird. Its expression didn't change at all; it was like it knew I'd do that. I landed on the back of the bird but it kept flying forward. I grabbed tuffs of down on the back of the bird and tried to steer it towards the tree. The bird hardly needed any strength against him to make him move, he simply moved when I told him to do so, like any steed.

Oh well, his easy listening got me their faster than I could have hoped, I got close enough to where I could jump right off the bird on to a branch, as soon as I was off he flew away. I started running towards where I thought was where we were original capture. As I got closer and closer I could hear something a little clearer with each step I took.

As I got to some leaves in the way of my vision I gently pushed them aside and could see where the sound was coming from, it was Major Stumpy!

But he was alive and groaning, but he was not chained and not hurt any more than when we were captured. I jumped into the clearing and his look changed from agony to joy.

"Sir, I told you I had a plan that would save us both."

"Good job private!" He got up slowly as he said this then he looked me straight in the eye. "Brox, you are getting a promotion."

"Great, but, sir, we don't have time to dilly-dally," I warned as I started to run down the tree. The major followed but was slower than I could have imagined. When I got to the ground I had to wait for him even though he started at the same time as me. The rest of the way was smooth sailing; we got to the base, we called back our solders, which was a very high number, we lost only the men in our team, then over then next several days, we hit the birds with tremendous force, so hard in fact that they eventually gave up our tree and left one morning.

And that is the tale of Nutz, Brox was eventually promoted to major, and stumpy became a two star general before the end of their times. But they had become heroes to the squirrels, now they had honor, pride and strength. The bats of course got paid in the berries they were promised, the bats enjoyed the berries so much, and that the bats asked if they could move to one of the outlying trees in their park. General Bag-O-Nuts went back to Scotland to tell that he had once again helped another worthless batch of Squirrels to become proud and free again. And so that is the tale of Nutz and if you don't believe it stare into a tree somewhere, and you may find a little squirrel with only one tooth listening to his grandfather on Nut Crackers Eve, listening to the history the squirrels and the tale of Nutz, of course you'll have to stand pretty far away as now a days they like to guard their nuts very well.