Throwing the door open to the early morning coolness, two startled squirrels leaped back onto the old wild grape vine wrapped among the pine limbs. Little beggars are overly brave and daring. Watching their antics while enjoying Irish Oat and Barry's tea, recalled a warm September afternoon under ancient Muscadine vines during Squirrel Season on Watts Bar Lake.
Well, it was hunting season, you see, and we had to go hunting. Actually, if we weren't fishing it had to be hunting season .... any hunting season would do. So, September was the beginning with Dove and Squirrel. The morning Dove harvest had been cleaned and refrigerated; mid-afternoon seemed to be a good time for Squirrels.
Scrapping back the leaves and settling into the rich black loam, backed against a Cedar tree. This looked good. Two Oaks, laden with acorns, were in front and Muscadine vines interlaced a canopy everywhere. Mother Nature's arbor was full and ripening. The leafy carpet was littered with the very ripe to the over ripe wine colored balls.
Before long the taste testing and entertainment began. Tom, Dick and Harry, for lack of better names, were on their way to regain possession of their treasure trove. One warm sweet juicy ball would only be followed by another and another. The ones that had begun to split open beckoned irresistibly to the three marauders. In short order, Tom fell off the tree he was attempting to climb. Harry, while chasing Dick across a limb, free fell into the leafy carpet. And Dick, not to be outdone, attempted a forward somersault onto a limb landing in a heap against an Oak root. This had been preceded by a lot of cavorting, attempted jumps, swinging from limbs, running into, and generally falling over. All was done with a truly fussing attitude.
Who knew that fruit could ripen to a highly intoxicating fermentation point all on it's own. Well, duh, liquid, sugar, sun ..... Oh, sure you did ..... well, I do too, now. The truth is a fierce pounding behind the eyes caused a brief nap to occur. When one is awakened by someone kicking your boot, the tendency is to recoil in fear while raising your rifle [22, that is]. He was such a smarty, he jumped behind the tree congratulating me for the three fat squirrels. Picking them up by their hind legs must have had the same effect as kicking my boots. Three bodies began to squirm and fuss resulting in their being launched back into the trees. "Holy Cow, what was that?" Choked with laughter, the events were shared AND so were the Muscadines. "Drunk Squirrels?" "REALLY! I swear!"