The end of a long wet summer delivered a bountiful crop from the bois d’arc trees. When we returned from our August vacations, the paths to our front door were littered with round green pods the size and hardness of softballs. The first time you see one, its surface mapped with cerebral crevasses, you wonder who lost their brain. But each one is packed with seeds, enough genetic material to make a fresh forest of hard thorny branches intertwining into some impenetrable new Monte. They are really designed to be eaten by Mastodons and spread across the land in their excrement. But all the big fierce animals are gone from the Earth, replaced by us and our livestock, and Friday afternoon as the work week wound down what I saw was a scrawny squirrel improbably wrestling one of those leviathan Chiclets up a tree, afraid I would steal it or him. It was a simultaneously Herculean and comical portage he attempted, until I heard the thud as he dropped it to the ground, electing what must have seemed the best path to survival.
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