- What a funny squirrel! I showed Marianne the picture on a magazine.
- Oh, don´t talk about squirrels… she sighed.
- Our neighbor isn´t talking to us.
- What? Again? What this time? Something to do with squirrels?
- Oh yes.
- Let´s hear it!
- All right. The other day we were a bit tired and had a nap after I had done the laundry, and before it was time to start preparing dinner. Well - I was just about to fall asleep when I heard some noise from the veranda. An odd clatter. John of course did not wake up, but I had to go see what it was.
- Well, what was it?
- I had put some of the more delicate laundry to dry in a clothes airer, on the porch. The kind that stands on the floor. Wouldn´t want my underwear be visible to everyone, I´m sure you understand.
Which I did.
- So - I saw the clothes airer moving on its own through the window. Sort of hopping clumsily.
- What? Again? Weren´t the walking flowers enough?
- Obviously not… I opened the door to see better and the culprit was staring right at me from under the airer.
- A squirrel? I counted one and one together.
- A squirrel. But a very funny squirrel. I mean - why would any squirrel want to steal my bra?
Now that was a question I could not answer. I pleaded to my lack of experience in squirrel psychology and waited to hear how the story of the funny squirrel continued.
- This particular squirrel was doing its best to take my best bra from the airer. Yanking it with both front paws and teeth also. I of course let out a yell to scare it off, but to no avail. I did notice, though, how our neighbor woke up in his hammock. Warm evening, you see. He was also taking a nap. I think his wife had made him take his nap in the hammock - I do believe he snores.
I nodded. Very annoying thing, snoring.
- Right at the same moment when I yelled and our neighbor woke up, the squirrel succeeded. And before I could do a thing it had taken the bra strap in its mouth and started running away. My best white bra! Now I of course ran after it yelling "Come back you bastard!"
- You didn´t?
- I did. Perhaps it was a bit strong choice of words, but I wasn´t going to let my most expensive lingerie disappear into any squirrel´s nest. I managed to grab a broom that was leaning to the wall of the playhouse. I tried to reach the running bra with it.
I could imagine the sight. Marianne running like a sprinter, holding the broom like a knight in a jousting tournament and a squirrel dashing through their garden in front of her.
- But why doesn´t your neighbor talk to you anymore? I don´t get it.
- I had no time to look, but I heard the door slam and that must have been him going indoors. At that moment I got a hold of the bra with the broomstick and that stopped the squirrel. I grabbed the other strap with my hand and pulled - and can you imagine: the squirrel would not let go!
- Oh yes - the funny squirrel just kept yanking at the other strap! Eventually it let go and I got my bra back. I walked back to the porch and noticed the neighbor´s wife by the fence.
- Do you know what happened to Ed? she asked.
- No - I didn´t notice anything! I said and hid the bra behind my back, - What´s the matter?
- I ´m worried about him… He just ran into the house and yelled that your bra was running away from you and you were flying after it on a broom… He ran to see through the window and said you and the bra were fighting, because the bra did not want to come back.
I exploded in laughter. Marianne looked at me disapprovingly.
- Well the grass was a bit long, I admit, so I suppose he did not see the squirrel, Marianne sighed, - Especially when the sun was already going down and there wasn´t much light. The white bra must have been quite visible, though, hopping along the lawn. And if you think of it, I was holding the broom to my side. But to say I was flying with it… Now that´s a bit thick!
I looked at her flaming red hair and said nothing.
- But ever since then he won´t even come out if he sees me in the garden!
- Perhaps you might discuss the matter with his wife? Tell it like a joke to her. I´m sure the story goes to his ears too.
- You think?
- Yes, I do. Just to keep your neighborly relations good. I mean it might damage your good reputation if he goes about telling how you fly in your garden with a broom, chasing runaway bras.
- Well maybe I should do that then, Marianne said.
- Yes, maybe you should.