Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Old dog, new trick: The prankster
In my mind -- small, narrow, mostly lost, the remnants still furiously leaning to the left -- Ben is beyond legendary in terms of squirrel herding.
So, in recent days, it has taken me a bit by surprise to see his passionate squirrel herding avocation take a markedly frat boy turn. Ben apparently has decided he likes pranking squirrels just as much as herding them. Maybe even more so.
Here's what goes down. Ben spies a soon-to-be-pranked-squirrel (STBPS) foraging at the foot of tree.
The foot of a tree seems to be The Requirement.
Ben goes into instant herding mode BUT carefully keeps said tree between him and the STBPS.
Unlike squirrel herding, which can take up to three days (and this on one morning walk I might add), squirrel pranking is a relatively spontaneous event. With the squirrel in happy foraging oblivion, Ben quickly but silently reaches the backside of the tree. He looks impressive with his sleek stealth and unshakeable focus.
Ben does the Puppy Pounce. You remember the Puppy Pounce, don't you? That silly, sweet stiff-legged, slightly misdirected jump at things both animate and inanimate. It's not his most dignified moment, and yet, it's abundantly clear -- Ben had no predatory interest in STBPS -- he just wanted to scare the crap out of him.
That being said, Squirrel That Has Now Been Pranked goes skittering up his tree, chucking furiously at the both of us.
And moments later, what can I say? Ben comes loping up.
With a frat boy smile on his face.