There are no leaves on the trees, but the grass already needs to be cut. Daffodils that survived a surprise freeze of early Spring are popping up and joined by red and pink tulips and green hostas.
A barefoot woman stands on the front porch shaking a plastic bag of trail mix. She takes a few steps forward and begins to yell towards a tree in a high pitched voice, usually reserved for things that are small and furry.
“Sneaky, come down here, Sneaky.”
On the street, a man slowly rides by on a bike with a wicker basket. He cranes his neck but only sees tiny green buds beginning to develop on the branches. There is nothing to match the description of what he imagines to be a Sneaky.
You just never know, he thinks, and holds down the contents of the basket on the front of his bike. It is overflowing with a shrubbery that he acquired from the yard of his out of town neighbors.
“Sneaky, its snack time.”
The woman shakes the bag again and this time a man watches from inside of the house. With one finger, he lifts the blind up a little higher and peers out with a pair of blue eyes. As much as he wants to look away, he cannot bring himself to do it. He is running through his options on which family member would sign the involuntary commitment paperwork.
“Trust us, it’s for your own good.”
He envisions the woman being lifted up and carried out by men in matching white scrubs. He sees her little legs kicking as she squirms to escape and feels a sense of guilt in the pit of his stomach for letting his imagination take his wife away in a straight jacket.
Laughter from the sidewalk brings the man’s focus back.
The woman’s hand is extended with a pile of almonds on her palm from which a little brown squirrel is selecting the best nut.
“Only the best for you, Sneaky.”
She looks back, intuiting that she had an audience of one, and raises one eyebrow.
“Told you so,” she says with a shrug and a smile.
She is most pleased; Sneaky returned as did her creditability, all in few, short minutes.