“The thing about squirrels,” said Andre the dog, “is that they’re often far too noisy for their own good.” Andre looked around, nervously, but then kept one ear trained on the big tall tree on the horizon ahead, cocked to the side as best he good. “What are you listening for?” asked Horace, a grey hare that had been friends with Andre for as long as he could remember. “That Squirrel,” said the fluffy brown dog, “I’ll bet he’s going to be noisy again tonight!”
Horace eyed up his friend curiously as Andre’s ears pricked up. “You’re making too much of this,” he said. “No, I’m not,” replied Andre. “This is just what I do. That squirrel has me wrapped around his finger every time he makes a noise.” Horace didn’t care much for squirrels, especially noisy ones that liked to do nothing more than cause trouble in Mr Green’s lovely farm, but Andre was quite different. “I’d just leave him be,” said Horace to Andre, “he’ll soon get bored.”
And sure enough, later that night, when the chicken shed was quiet and the pond bore nothing more than the moon’s still reflection, the peaceful silence of the kennel was shattered by the sudden clattering of wood nearby. Andre bolted away, and dashed off in the direction of the racket. Horace followed the dog through the long grass towards the barn, already sensing what they’d find when they got there. “It’s you!” exclaimed Andre as he rushed towards the squirrel, darting through mountains of hay.
“So, you came,” said the noisy squirrel, sneering, and taunting Andre and Horace by kicking at the now splinted planks of wood from the roof all around him. “Look, I caused a disturbance – sorry, did I wake you?” Andre was cross, and dug his back legs into the soil ready to pounce. “Hey, relax,” said Horace to his friend, “why are you letting him bother you so?” Andre eased off, but looked quizzically at the hare. “Because he woke me,” he replied.
The noisy squirrel bashed his paws against the corrugated iron walls of the barn. “Hey, look at me!” he shouted. Horace turned his back back to the squirrel, but said nothing. Instead, he lifted up the left ear of his canine chum and whispered into it. The squirrel fell silent, trying to listen in, but his clanging and banging had gone on a fraction too long. “What did you say?” he demanded angrily, but Andre and Horace didn’t reply.
Instead they slowly turned around and headed back to the kennel, past the long grass and the pond. The noisy squirrel didn’t follow, and annoyed at the lack of attention he got despite making as much noise as possible decided to go back to sleep, and try again tomorrow. His heart was racing, though, and his sleep was broken and light, and when morning came he was grumpy and still tired as if he hadn’t slept a single wink.
When the sun was at its highest and the farm was alive with the chatter of friends, Horace walked over to Andre. “What are you doing today, then?” asked the hare. “Well, I was going to go for a gentle walk,” replied the dog. “Do you fancy a stroll?” The two of them went on a long, meandering saunter around Mr Green’s 20 acre estate, past the long grass and the pond, and past the barn where the squirrel had been last night. The two of them let out a gentle giggle as they did so, and then returned back to the kennel.
That night, when the moon was shining and the shadows were long, the noisy squirrel ventured out from his hole in the big tall tree and set about creating an even bigger noise than he did the previous evening. He picked up as many stones as he could, and carried them over to the pond before proceeding to throw them into the water creating as big and and as loud a splash as he could with each one. Over in the kennels, Andre awoke.
But instead of reacting to the squirrel, he remembered what Horace had told him, and turned his back on the door of his house. He couldn’t get back to sleep straight away because the squirrel had quite a lot of stones yet to splash, but after a few minutes there were no more stones to splash and the noise subsided. Andre forced a tired, but knowing smile, and with the squirrel dejected at the lack of response, the dog fell soundly asleep as the farm fell back into silence.
In the morning Andre found his friend Horace in the long grass, leaping gracefully in and out of sight as he bounced around playfully. “How was your sleep tonight?” asked the hare. “Much better, thanks,” said the dog. In the big tall tree in the distance, the noisy squirrel was remarkably quiet, and left wondering whether being noisy was all he thought it was cracked up to be. “The thing about squirrels,” said Andre looking up at the tree, “is that they’re often far too noisy for their own good.”