by Laura Freudig
The squirrel in the parking lot eyed the peanuts I was throwing with a thin thread of thought more like a rat’s wormish tail than its own generous bushy one: a narrow line stretching from the woods to the loading dock, from fear to desire. I stacked two pound bags of peanuts from a pallet by the open loading door into a metal cart, which I planned to wheel into the Food Mart and place on a shelf in the strategic location devised by our manager, Ms. Carmine Bardwell. One of the stiff plastic sacks had split, spilling its contents among the rest of the sacks, and as I stacked, I simultaneously tossed peanuts to the squirrel. In the past ten minutes it had skittered down a spruce tree and a concrete retaining wall, across thirty feet of cracked asphalt and was now ten feet from the loading dock.