Thursday, July 23, 2020
The Nine Lives of Totoro
Yesterday, a squirrel completely altered the course of my day.
Not that the day had much direction to begin with. I spent most of the morning working in the garden and then reading. But as I sat with my book on the garden bench, I heard our ceramic Totoro bell give a noisy rattle and saw a squirrel run past it up the walnut tree, leaving it swinging from its stub of a branch.
The squirrel sat in a notch in the tree, unmoving, for several minutes. I knew it was up to something. Sure enough, as I watched, it ran back down the tree, grabbed Totoro (!), and carried it up the tree before freaking out and flinging it from a high limb. Totoro hit the ground and exploded like a grenade.
Something told me to intervene when that squirrel was sitting there mischievously. I should have listened to my instincts.
Totoro has been knocked from his perch many times, and he's even been broken before. Some critter stole his bell clapper, and I fashioned a new one out of a green plastic bead I found on the ground at the cemetery. So he's already been through a lot.
This time, I thought he might be toast.
But because we got him in Shanghai and he's a precious souvenir (not to mention a forest spirit), I walked up to Homebase to buy more Gorilla Glue in an attempt to repair him. (I got a flowerpot for our new rudbeckia as well.) I came home and sat at the dining room table, piecing him together, and voila:
The nine lives of Totoro!
(After I took this photo, I wired him to the tree, hopefully reducing the chances of future squirrel mischief.)
And once again, my fingers are covered with dry scaly patches of Gorilla Glue, which is driving me crazy. I don't know why I can't glue something together without also gluing myself.
(Top photo: A gatekeeper butterfly on ragwort at the cemetery a few days ago.)