Dusk was descending as I set off for my daily run this evening, and as the light began to fade, Doris and I headed down into the leafy, tree-lined Clough. As we headed deeper into the depths of the woodland, the blue sky above disappeared; kidnapped by the trees. Further in we headed, as the cold began to take hold and mist swirled beneath us, creeping carefully around our feet.
'What was that?' I reacted rapidly, turning to glance behind me. That was strange, I'm sure I heard a noise. Or did I? I listened carefully; all I could hear now was the rippling of the brook and the hoot of an owl. 'That's early I thought.' But Owls aren't restricted to midnight are they? That's only in fiction.
'Must have been my mind playing tricks on me.' I thought as I jogged on, my feet now enveloped by the swirling shadows.
But then again... a rustling in the trees. I stopped. Still. Silent. Scanning.
There again. A noise; in the tree above me. I looked up. What was that? A bird? A bat? A squirrel?
No, surely not. I squinted hard into the darkness, but found it impossible to see betwixt the shadows.
Quickening my pace, I turned and headed out of the Clough; out of the veil of fog and shadowy gloom. The hoot of the Night's Watchman whispering behind me. And as I left the pathetic fallacy of the Clough behind, I was able to relax a little. How silly was I? Of course there was nothing watching me; paranoia was all it was.
Reaching the safety of my home, I placed the key in the lock and hearing the comfortable click, I relaxed.
An owl again... how strange, I'd never heard an owl outside of the Clough before.
An hour later, settled on the sofa, warm and cosy, I switched the TV on... nothing... and again... nothing.
I swung round. What was that at the door? It sounded like a faint, yet shrill, giggle.
A squirrel giggle!
Of course... how could I have been so naive. It all made sense now: the feeling of being watched, the rustle in the trees, and the owl; the night's watchman: the squirrels' watchman.
Whilst I had been innocently out running, the squirrels had convened a mission of sabotage. Why, only today the news revealed that birds have taken up the art of espionage.
And now it all makes sense. The owl stood sentry, spying on my dog and I, keeping watch whilst the squirrels stole and sabotaged by Sky+ HD box. Far fetched? I don't think so. Never underestimate a squirrel.
But I'm not beaten... oh no! You won't get the better of me squirrels... mark my words... I will be the victor in this battle.
Watch out Squirrels.
This is WAR!
Distance: 2 miles
Weather: Quite warm, with a light mist
See my run here