I’d been working the chipmunk beat for two years. My chipmunk detection skills were second to none, and I knew I was at the top of my game. Even so, I was surprised and honored when Agent Levi Pitboxer selected me to join him as his paw-picked recruit at the SPA – Squirrel Patrol Academy. Apparently the squirrels were planning something big and their suspicious activity was escalating. They could be seen running the streets in groups of two or three at a time, and their chatter was getting louder. Agent Pitboxer thought I would be a good addition to the Squirrel Patrol because I am fast and low to the ground. Something the squirrels and I have in common!
Before I could join Pitboxer on his latest case, I had to prove myself to him by completing some required training. Squirrels are shadier and more daring than chipmunks and he wanted to make sure I was ready for them. I could tell he was worried about me because of my delicate frame and sweet nature, but on the beat I was anything but sweet. It was time to show him what I was made of.
We took the bus to the SPA and gathered our gear. He introduced me to some of his fellow Squirrel Patrol Agents, mostly large dogs, some hounds, retrievers and shepherds in the mix. I saw a few of them woofing at me, when they thought my back was turned. I knew what they were thinking.
‘She’s too small for this job!’ ‘What is Pitboxer thinking?!’ ‘The squirrels will have her for lunch!’
But I knew what I was made of. I was ready for the Big Leagues! I had no fear!
Pitboxer suggested a refresher course in a classroom setting, but I begged to be taken out on the streets for some field training. What better way to show him my worth than by getting out in the real world.
He finally acquiesced, and took me to an old cemetery in the middle of town.
‘He’s trying to scare me,’ I thought to myself, ‘Not gonna happen.’
The cemetery was eerily quiet as I took a sniff around. The tombstones dating back to the early 1800’s. There was a statue of a hawk with his beak busted off, who’s eyes seemed to follow me wherever I went. There were some flags around the tombstones to honor some war heroes from long ago.
It didn’t take long for me to find a suspicious tree. There was a hole at the base just small enough to be missed by a taller dog, but I was low to the ground and could smell that squirrel stink right away!
I took a close look at the tree, getting my paws dirty in the process. I wanted to be sure of what I was smelling before calling Agent Pitboxer over to have a look for himself.
Pitboxer had been scanning the higher branches when I called out,
“Agent Pitboxer, I think you should come and take a look over here. I’ve detected a strong squirrel scent.”
He quickly made his way around the tree and dove in nose first, practically knocking me over in the process.
“Agent GiGi, your detection skills are top notch! This is definitely a squirrel hangout, and I believe you have found the entry and exit point! Good job!”
I couldn’t help but smile at his praise, knowing that tales of my first day of field training would make their way back to his cronies at the Academy. That smile was where I went wrong though! I was too self congratulatory, and not paying enough attention as two daring squirrels dashed out of the bottom of the tree, running up the side and making their mad escape.
Pitboxer and I watched as they made their ascent to the very top of the tree.
“How could I let them get away?” I cried out.
“It happens to the best of us, kid. Besides, this was only field training. Nobody was going to be brought in today. And this is the time to make mistakes, rather than later when there are lives on the line. These two rodents are likely up to no good, but we’ve got nothing on them. It doesn’t mean we can’t scare them a little bit though,” Agent Pitboxer barked.
He then jumped up on the tree showing me the move he’d made famous. He sure knew how to show those squirrels who was in charge!
After watching him closely, I tried the move out for myself. I got it right on my very first try. It looked like I was going to do alright as an Agent on the Squirrel Patrol!