Childrens, Fiction, Humor, Short Stories

The Little Acorn

A thin branch hung over a two-lane country road. The branch was attached to a large tree at the side of the road. Attached to the branch, hovering over the middle of the road, was an acorn.

I am an acorn, thought the acorn.

A swift breeze shook the branch, and the acorn fell to the ground. It hopped and jumped and rolled around, coming to a stop right in the middle between the road’s two yellow lines.

I am an acorn, thought the acorn. This was the acorn’s only thought.

The acorn sat in the road. Everything was still.

I am an acorn, thought the acorn.

* * *

A squirrel sat in his home in a hovel in a tree. His home was full of an assortment of nuts and berries and all such delectable things.

I want an acorn, thought the squirrel.

He started looking through his pantry for that nut full of character, that little nut with a hat. After some searching, he managed to find a few hats, but no nut. The smell lingered in his nose, urging him on.

I need an acorn, thought the squirrel.

He ducked his head out of the hole of his hovel and looked about. All of the branches were picked clean. He climbed out onto the nearest branch, high up on the tree. Peering down, he roved his eyes over each branch to see if he had missed any nuts.

A swift breeze ran through the tree and shook the branches. A sharp clicking sound followed the breeze.

The squirrel’s ears perked up at the sound. It was a delightful sound, just the sort of sound that would accompany…

The acorn! Far below, rolling in a circle, hidden between this branch and that, was the peculiar nut, hat still intact.

The squirrel pranced through the branches with ease on his way to his prize. Never losing momentum, he took a final leap from the base of the tree and rushed over to the nut. He sat still in front of it, the glow of the treat dancing in his eyes.

Yummy acorn, thought the squirrel.

He reached out his arms to embrace it.

* * *

The air conditions were ripe for exploration. Warm air currents collided with cold air currents, creating lovely bursts of wind that cut through the sky.

A hawk caught one of these rising pillars of air and soared high up above the land. His wing tips guided him where he wished to go.

Wind is good for flying, thought the hawk.

The hawk had been flying for a long while, and his stomach grumbled. It was time for a meal.

The ground below was very far away. However, his eyes were very good at seeing things very far away. He began to look for something to eat.

Most of the hawk’s diet consisted of little creatures that lived in grassy fields. These creatures often left their holes and burrows for various creaturely reasons. None of these reasons included being eaten by a hawk, but this event happened frequently nonetheless.

Little creatures are good for eating, thought the hawk.

He scanned the pastures and fields for any signs of life. There were none. The grass swayed to and fro, but no creatures accompanied the dancing.

He then scanned the trees, thinking a furry rodent might be resting on one of their tops. There were no rodents there, either.

He then scanned the roads, accepting a bit of roadkill to satisfy his hunger. It would probably be a deer, but it could be a…

Squirrel! Squirrels are good for eating, thought the hawk.

He dove down and plummeted towards the road. The target squirrel had just reached the middle of the road and sat down in front of a little acorn.

* * *

A small car cruised its way down a country road. The windows were open, letting in a crisp breeze. The smell of autumn permeated the air.

The person driving the car was a young woman. She enjoyed taking car rides in the countryside. It was quiet and pretty and everything was peaceful.

It is a nice day for a drive, thought the woman.

There were many bumper stickers on the back of the woman’s car. All of them had to do with nature and animals. “Protect the Rainforest,” said one. “EAT MOR CHIKPEAS,” said another. “Animals are Friends, not Food,” said a third.

The car moved on, its electric engine humming like a hive of happy bumblebees.

The woman smiled and glanced up at the sky, where sometimes birds fluttered by. When she looked she saw a hawk gliding beneath the clouds. It vanished from her sight when the car entered a glade of trees.

It is a nice day to be a hawk, thought the woman.

The road flowed through the trees, light filtering through the leaves and casting jagged shadows on the ground. It was a windy trail with new and unexpected surprises around each corner.

One such surprise was a squirrel.

There was a long straightaway, breaking the pattern of curves on the road. The squirrel jumped off of the base of a large tree into the road. He hopped over to the middle and sat down. It looked like he had found something.

It would be nice if he moved, thought the woman.

The car moved closer and closer still.

* * *

It was an angry sound to some. It was an energetic sound to others. It was a pleasant sound to the man inside the truck.

The loud music shook the truck’s frame, all the pistons and gears and levers vibrating to the symphony of combustion and heavy metal.

You will pay the price, thought the man. It was a lyric to the song that was playing. The fowl will be the sacrifice, thought the man. It was an unusual song.

The man pounded his hands against the wheel of the truck in beat to the song, rocking his head back and forth.

He was having a rough week. His young son had recently acquired a parrot as a pet. His wife said that it was a test of the son’s responsibility. Why did the son choose a parrot? “Because Daddy likes parrots.”

You will chirp no more, thought the man. The fire will burn you to the core.

The name of the band was “Parrot Plague.” The name was mainly chosen because it sounded cool. Sometimes the band’s songs were about birds, but never in a flattering light.

Daddy did not like parrots, especially ones that never shut up and talked through all hours of the night and never went to sleep and had no purpose on Earth other than to annoy parents who stupidly allowed their children to have pet parrots.

The man peered up at the sky as he drove the truck along. Something caught his vision. It was a bird.

The truck rounded a corner, the man’s eyes locked onto the bird. It was heading in the same direction as the truck. He paid attention to nothing else.

You will take its place, thought the man. My fender will plow through your face.

His last thoughts were not from the song.

* * *

The squirrel sat between the two yellow lines of the road. He felt the tips of his paws touch the acorn. Drool was visible on his lower jaw, and his eyes were wide with anticipation.

A talon wrenched him forward and cast the acorn tumbling into the air.

The woman screamed and yanked the wheel of her car to the left to avoid the hawk.

The man screamed and yanked the wheel of his truck to the left to hit the hawk.

The hawk felt a truck’s bumper rush over him. Pieces of metal grazed his head, and in the flashing whirlwind the hawk spun out underneath the truck’s rear fender like a giant top.

Before the spinning hawk landed in the road, he released his grip and flung the squirrel, who suddenly became a flying squirrel.

Eyes closed, arms extended, the squirrel felt something ricochet off of his stomach before he plummeted headfirst into a thicket of grass.

The car and the truck raced down the road in opposite directions.

In the resulting silence, a faint clicking sound could be heard from the little acorn bouncing down the road away from the scene.

The man clasped the wheel of his truck and clenched his teeth in disappointment.

The woman sighed and let out a breath of relief.

The hawk lay his head on the hard ground and did his best impression of a spread eagle.

The squirrel sat motionless in the thicket and did his best impression of a hidden squirrel.

The acorn rolled into the shoulder of the road and became still.

A single thought hung in the minds of four discriminate souls…

That…was close.

And then, after a little while, a thought emanated from the littlest soul of all…

I am an acorn, thought the acorn.

Written by Joshua Hall

Josh enjoys writing stories, designing games, and hitting a fuzzy yellow ball with a racquet. He migrates between Philadelphia and Tampa, and is often seen hanging out with middle schoolers for the sake of youth ministry.

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