A/N: This is a story I was forced to write for the winter addition of my school magazine. It had to be short, and it had to be about Christmas. Strangely, it did turn out fairly well, so I'm proud of it.

Maistwin presents: Another One of Her Crazy Stories About a Small Animal


Little Squirrel sat on one of the sturdier branches of the large treetop, scratching his nose and chattering to himself as he normally did at the onset of winter. It was evening by now; the snow had already stopped falling. But Little Squirrel could pay little attention to this. When seen from a distance, the furious twitching from the distracted ball of fur looked like an active beehive.

"Mean tree made me hurt, mean tree made me hurt," he babbled, fiddling obsessively with two partially knotted whiskers.

How he hated it when his whiskers got tangled. The worst bite from all the world's frost could not compare to the nagging sensation that came when he ran into a tree, tangling up his poor little whiskers.

And so he scratched and scratched, rolling over and whining to coax the twisted fibers into submission. Usually, he would attend to this business undisturbed. However, there came a day every so often that could be called an "uncommon" day. It was the kind of day where small children didn't chase Little Squirrel off sidewalks, throw rocks at Home Tree, or steal his hard-earned nuts. Because all these things had already happened to Little Squirrel that day, he did not think today would be one of these "uncommon" days. Yet when he rolled over just the right way, and his large eyes could peer into the usually dim glass window of the large house beside Home Tree, he beheld a sight so amazing that that day did, in fact, become an "uncommon" day.

There, glowing a perfect gold in the overhead light, was a huge bucket of nuts. And not just any nuts—this was a mound of beautiful, round hazelnuts.

Little Squirrel wanted these nuts. He wanted these nuts more than anything in the whole world. The squirrel would have jumped off that tall branch right then, were it not for the loud screeching he had come to identify as a human voice.

"YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND ME!!"

Such a sound would have normally sent Little Squirrel into a rabid frenzy, usually ending in a mad dash into the first dark hole he saw. He wanted to, certainly. But today was not the day for that. The longer he stared at that perfect, golden mass, the more he wanted to stay right there. They were already his, to be sure—he had already begun naming each one: Big Nut, Little Nut, Pretty Nut…

"GO TO YOUR ROOM SUSAN!!!"

He again felt the strong urge to scurry into a rabbit hole, but he stopped it. As much as he also wanted to launch himself towards the beautiful sight, he now had to wait until the human threat had passed. His tiny brain began to whirl dusty gears as he tried to solve this problem, but to no avail. One half of him said "run away" while the other coherent half told him not to "abandoned his pretties." Needless to say, both sides held a tough case. Little Squirrel was held motionless by his indecision for a long, long while.

Unfortunately, his pretties were calling to him. Lust soon got the better of the poor squirrel, as his muscles seemed to twitch themselves into action. He launched himself from the tree, wailing a victorious death screech as he soared toward the frosted planter.

It had been perfect execution. However, the landing didn't go as well as he had hoped. His tiny front paws could hardly grasp the planter's wet side, nearly sending him into another squealing plummet. Little Squirrel was forced to propel himself over the side with a thrust of his hind legs.

He could see them now! His pretties were all safe and sound, all piled up in their golden glory. Only another inch and he would be there, his cheeks filled with glorious nuts. Yet, it seemed that in his excitement, he had forgotten that windows were made of glass. His head luckily bounced away from the collision with little damage—all but his poor whiskers. Once again, they were tangled.

Little Squirrel was so upset. The squeaks and whines started up again as he began to roll around in the planter's soil, trying so hard to fix the problem he had already worked so hard to solve. He could already see the branches of Home Tree shaking in amusement. Of course, his squeaks grew louder in protest.

Amongst all this, the squirrel naturally didn't have time to notice when a tall human girl leaned over to look at him through the other side of the smudged glass. He didn't even notice when that window opened, and a large hand came from the inside to scoop him out of the dirt. That is, he didn't notice until he saw himself floating over the basket of heavenly goods. Only then did he really look up, and simply because he was too shocked to continue to scream.

The girl looking down at him was red-faced, with long brown hair, and eyes filled with water. He didn't understand why she looked like this. In fact, the only thing that really came across to him was the fact she was big. From that point on, her name would be Big Girl.

He wasn't sure he liked her much.

"Ooh, you look sad too," she said, though the sound was nearly too loud for him to bear. "Why are you sad?"

If the jargon that came out of her mouth was supposed to mean something, it was lost on him. Even so, it was about that time when he started to whine and chatter again, reminded of his own lost cause. "I want my pretties!" he said. "Pretties!!!"

For some reason, this seemed to please Big Girl. The giant human set him down on the table, right next to the giant bucket he had come there for. So overcome by his closeness to his goal, Little Squirrel simply stopped chattering. Strangely, this made the red-faced girl turn less red. A smile stretched across her face.

"My friend gave those to me for Christmas…would you like some?" she asked him.

His confusion just made him stare at her more, but he hoped that she had said something along the lines of "I forfeit my ownership of these beautiful nuts, and bestow them upon you."

He continued to watch her in eager anticipation. When her smile grew, it seemed that he had been right. Slowly, Big Girl reached into the bucket of glory, and placed a handful of nuts right in front of the small squirrel. If it weren't for the laws of physics, Little Squirrel would have burst into a million happy pieces. He immediately began to gnaw on the closest, most flawless of the hazelnuts, with a squirrelly grin so wide he could have bit the thing in two. The animal hardly noticed when Big Girl gasped.

"Crap, mom will kill me…"

The cold gust of air nearly knocked him over when she opened the window behind him. However, this wasn't the worst of the damage. Big Girl shoved Little Squirrel out the window and back into the cold planter; he would have latched onto her, if she hadn't pushed the handful of nuts out with him. But as he chattered angrily at her, she only smiled more.

"Merry Christmas, little squirrel."

And she slammed the window right in front of him.

Naturally, Little Squirrel was very angry that he had been separated from half of the nuts in that basket. Yet as he continued to gnaw away at the ones he had, he all but forgot about the others he had claimed. By far, Pretty Nut was the most delicious. And though he would never understand the words, that Christmas was the best Christmas Little Squirrel had ever had.