Day 37. 7:00 a.m. Cardinal chirps signal daybreak. Four rabbits underneath the bird-feeder eat the spilled seed. A mourning dove, a perched silhouette, sits in a young bare-branched oak.
7:30. The Rabbits have left. Five gray squirrels bicker under the feeder. They can easily scale its metal support pole to reach the flat platform. After weeks of being chased by the dogs, they keep a wary, skittish watch, and consume the black oil sunflower seeds facing the windows, looking into the sitting room instead of the field looking for hawks. Any inside movement or noise sends them in a frantic leap to the ground. They scale the upper branches of the cottonwood trees where they sit with tails that twitch as if afflicted with palsy.