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Christmas is upon us and I haven’t shot a squirrel yet

By Tracy Farr

Let me be the first to announce there are only 38 more shopping days left before Christmas. Thirty-eight wonderful days to make sure everybody on your list gets exactly what they deserve. And do I plan to take advantage of it? Do I plan to do my shopping early? Heaven forbid! I don’t even know why I brought up the subject.

The differences between men and women are never more obvious than when it comes to Christmas shopping. Women want to look, compare, study, analyze, feel, smell, poke, prod and ask questions about each and every item they think they might buy before they buy it. That’s why 38 shopping days are never enough time for a woman.

Men, on the other hand, wait until the last possible second to shop, then attack it like a military operation. Lock and load, in and out, take no prisoners, the mission comes first, and if we see anybody we know (who might want to stop and chat for awhile), we dive for cover – preferably behind a magazine.

As a general rule, men hate to shop. Going to Lowe’s and Sears is okay because they sell chainsaws and PVC pipe, but going to the mall is like walking into quicksand – on purpose. That’s why, my fellow men, I challenge you to try something new this year. I challenge you to make hand-made, do-it-yourself presents for everybody on your Christmas list.

Crazy you say? Time consuming you say? Completely out of your ever-loving mind you say? I don’t think so, and stop saying such things. We men can do anything we set our minds to as long as it doesn’t involve shopping. In fact, I already know what I’m going to make – squirrel-skinned man bags, squirrel-skinned boxers and squirrel-skinned wall clocks with swinging tails. And if all goes well, I might even try selling them on EBay and make a squirrel-skinned fortune.

(It’s squirrel season, you know.)

Now, I see some of you shaking your heads and saying,“It’s inhumane to kill a poor, defenseless squirrel just so you don’t have to go Christmas shopping. Besides, wouldn’t the boxers feel a bit itchy?”Maybe so, but you don’t know about “The Incident,” and how it changed my life.

One day, while sitting under a tree in the woods, I heard a noise behind me that sounded like a bear sharpening its claws. It didn’t matter that I was a city boy and thought bear claws were only found in doughnut shops. I just knew some enormous grizzly was sharpening its cutlery, the better to rip me apart and eat me with, my dear.

Why was I in the woods, sitting under a tree in the first place? Squirrel hunting. I’d never been before and my friend Ron thought it was high time for me to start. He gave me a gun, a few shells, and said,“Don’t come back until you get one.” Twenty-seven minutes later, I heard the bear behind me and silently cursed my friend with every colorful word I could think of.

Anyways, my heart was racing, I was barely breathing, but somehow I found enough courage to peek around the tree and look Death right between the eyes. And the eyes I saw were not of grizzly with sharp claws, but of squirrel with bushy tail. Relieved, I took a shot at it – and missed. And do you know what that furry little rat did? He started laughing at me. I knew he was laughing because he was grinning from ear to ear, with one paw covering his mouth and the other paw pointing right at me.

And then I saw more squirrels – a lot more. They had surrounded me and were all laughing. Some were laughing so hard they were actually rolling around on the ground in pain, holding their furry little tummies. I fired a couple more shots – missed every time – and they just kept laughing. I could still hear them laughing as they scattered back into the woods, leaving me sitting alone under the tree.

Well, they’re not going to laugh at me this year. I’ve got 38 days to get one of them and turn the little bugger into a clock. Who knows – it might one day become a treasured gift passed down from generation to generation. And I never had to take a step into a mall. I say it’s a win, win situation.

So, Merry Christmas to all, and let the shopping (shooting) begin.

Copyright Tracy Farr

* * * * *

Tracy Farr lives in East Texas with his wife, three children, two cats and three goats. To read more of his work, visit his site at


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