In the epic war between mankind and the Squirrel Liberation Front, it seems that mankind has finally gained the upper hand, at least in rural East Texas, where a contingent of courageous men, women, and even children have taken up arms against their tiny, bush-tailed nemeses:
I follow Wayne into an ancient oak bottom, the canopy ten stories above us, only a dim light filtering in. The understory is mostly open, but there are scattered stands of cane, holly, huckleberry, and pine. The birds are just waking up, Carolina wrens, a few warblers or vireos I can’t identify, and a cardinal. We stand listening and looking, and after ten minutes Wayne spots a squirrel high in a tree, cutting acorns. We spend another ten minutes stalking it, feeling the ground with our feet, taking care not to crack twigs, keeping our eyes on the treetops. When the squirrel moves, we move; when it stops, we stop—always careful to keep a screen of leaves between us and the animal. Wayne aims and fires, and the squirrel drops onto the forest floor. At that same moment I hear rustling overhead and see another gray squirrel running between the crowns of the oaks. I lead it and fire twice. It too drops to the ground. Wayne puts both animals in his vest.
Consider yourselves warned, varmints. Don’t mess with Texas.
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