The Little Squirrel and the Baby Eagle

by Wred Fright

squirrel c/o eskipaper eagle c/o womtig blog

The little squirrel lived in the maple tree next to the black walnut tree because he loved loved loved loved loved eating black walnuts.  One of the females he mated with once asked him why he didn’t just live in the black walnut tree then.  He told her that he liked separating work and home and didn’t mind the commute.  Every day, he would get up, crawl out of his hole in the maple tree, climb its branches, and launch himself into the branches of the black walnut tree.  Then he would grab a black walnut in his mouth, climb down the trunk, jump onto a fence, run along the fence, climb into a fir tree, launch himself up into another maple tree, and toss the black walnut into his hidey-hole, before repeating the process again and again until he got dizzy and needed a rest.

The baby eagle got kicked out of the nest.  He didn’t want to go, but his father booted him gently with sharp talons and told him he had to find his own food from here on out.  So he went fishing in Lake Erie.  It was hard work.  Many times the fish got away and all he got was wet.  The weather got colder, and the water got rougher, and the eagle, no longer a baby, just a young eagle decided to see if there was an easier way to make a living, so he moved south to the woods, but some other eagles told him to beat it because the woods were their territory, so he moved south again.  At least the air was a little warmer in this direction.

The winter was cold for the little squirrel.  Some days he’d leave his nest in the maple tree, but some days he didn’t bother.  He just snuggled with one of his mates and her kids.  Were they his kids?  Who knew?  They didn’t smell like him anyway, so probably not.  He didn’t much care though; he only cared they were warm, which is why he let them share his nest.  Come spring, he’d kick them all out.  When it was warmer, though being winter still cold, the little squirrel would venture out to dig up some of his other hoards of black walnuts and other goodies he had hidden in the fall.  This way he didn’t have to share these ones with the other little squirrels, who, frankly, were eating way too much of the hoard he had socked away in his nest.  What had they been doing all fall?  This younger generation was lazy, he decided.

The eagle didn’t want to get too far away from the big lake, but it was slightly warmer to the south, though the fish from the rivers and ponds he encountered weren’t as tasty.  When the ponds froze over, he stuck to the river and followed it for a time.  When it started freezing as well, he kept going until he reached the parts that hadn’t frozen yet.  When fish went off the menu at the height of winter, the eagle made do.  A dead deer on the side of the road?  Not very tasty, but he was hungry.  A cardinal?  Didn’t have much meat but was easy to spot in the snow.  He even found a roost with many other eagles.  They told many funny stories, but when a snack did show up, it was chaos, so he soon tired of that.  He went back to the river and started following it back home.  Fish were the best, but he had discovered a taste for squirrels.

The little squirrel was glad to see spring, so he could kick the freeloaders out of his nest.  They just moved into other nests in the same tree, so he was grumpy that he wasn’t completely rid of them.  In the fall, they would mean trouble for the black walnuts.  He didn’t need extra competition.  He had enough trouble chasing the big squirrel away.  Spring wasn’t all perfect.  The cats were harder to spot than they were in the winter.  The little squirrel could duck them easily enough when he spotted them, but sometimes he would get dreamy chomping through the shell of a black walnut and one would get close enough to startle him enough into dropping the walnut, and he hated hated hated hated hated to lose walnuts.  

The eagle found a narrow section of the lake that could be his territory, but it was narrow, and the eagles whose territories bordered it were very aggressive about policing the borders, so he hunted a lot in the woods nearby.  The little squirrels didn’t have as much meat on them as the bigger squirrels, but they still made for a nice snack.  They even tasted better than the bigger lake gulls he would swoop down upon at the beach.  He didn’t have a mate yet, but he hoped to in a couple of years.  In the meantime, he was practicing his swooping. One day, he spotted a little squirrel in a tree, and he was feeling a little hungry.  He watched the squirrel jump from one tree to another high up.  The trees weren’t thick.  It wasn’t the woods.  There were some human houses nearby.  The squirrel was twitchy and jumped to and fro.  Eventually, it went to the ground and started digging.

The little squirrel had the tree to himself again.  As he made his way down to the ground, he wondered where the other little squirrels had gone.  They had been annoying, but he did have his eye on one of the younger females and was hoping she’d go into heat soon.  He hadn’t seen her for a few days though.  He also had noticed that he had been having to fend off the bigger squirrel all by himself more and more.  The bigger squirrel was getting bolder.  He had known to steer clear of the black walnut tree before, but now he came back again and again.  It was probably the younger generation being lazy and leaving it to him to always chase the big squirrel off, he decided.

The eagle started his descent.

The little squirrel shrugged and dug up another of his nut hoards he had buried in the fall.

The eagle slowed so he didn’t crash into the ground just as he was about to snatch up the little squirrel.

A shadow passed overhead, and the little squirrel dropped the black walnut and bolted for the nearest tree, a maple.  

The eagle readjusted on the fly and grabbed the little squirrel just as he was jumping for a tree.

As they headed into the sky, the little squirrel squeezed free and dropped onto a tree branch.

The eagle turned and darted back, but the little squirrel had dived into a hidey-hole in the tree.

The little squirrel dug into the black walnuts in the hidey-hole and covered himself up with them, now knowing what had happened to the other little squirrels.

The eagle decided the little squirrel wasn’t worth the bother of a wait and went back to the lake.  He would swoop down upon the little squirrel another day; with luck, the little squirrel would fatten himself up by then so he’d be better eating and not so skinny he could squeeze his way free again.  On his way back to the lake, he spotted another squirrel, this one a big one, in the woods.  He swooped again.  This one didn’t get away.

Meanwhile, a human watching out the window said to his mate, “I think I just saw an eagle in the backyard.”

His mate replied, “I saw one the other day.  Maybe it’s the same one.  Nature is beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Say you know what I haven’t seen lately?  Those little cute squirrels that look like a squirrel and a chipmunk had a baby.”

“I haven’t seen them either this spring.  Maybe they didn’t survive the winter or maybe the stray cat finally got them.  He must eat something around here.  What a nasty creature! “

“Maybe.  Say, speaking of eating, how about some lunch?”


Wred Fright has appeared numerous times at New Pop Lit, including this blog. Info on his novels and other things can be found at He also co-edited, along with Steve Kostecke, the ULA Anthology.

Fun Pop Poetry #19


“Two Cat Poems” by Wred Fright

WARNING! Possible Adult(?) Content

Pound It

On the bus today, this dude was singing along with his MP3 Player:
“Girl, I’m going to pound your pussy into paradise.”
And I thought, “I could see petting a pussy into paradise
Or purring a pussy into paradise
But pounding?
I sure hope no woman lets him near her cat.”


 A Stupid Limerick
 There once was a very hungry cat
who loved to eat this and loved to eat that.
She pounced upon a bird.
and the last thing she heard
was a woman screaming, “Get off my new hat!”

(Cat photos c/o Jamie Lockhart.)

(Send any crazy and/or silly and/or mad poems for our consideration to


Fun Pop Poetry #12

“A Miniature American Dream” by Wred Fright
 No thank you for the tapas.

I’d like a full plate of food.

No thank you for the cupcake.

I’d like a whole cake.

No thank you for the slider.

I’d like a regular burger.

 No thank you for the pedigreed lapdog.

I’d like a big mutt.

No thank you for the 100-calorie package of snacks.

I’d like a big cookie.

 No thank you for the 59-ounce carton of orange juice.

I’d like a half-gallon as usual.

 No thank you for the offer to pay only 77 cents on the dollar for Social Security.

I’d like my full benefits.

 No thank you for the cybersex.

I’d like an old-fashioned fuck.

 No thank you for eavesdropping to keep me safe.

I’d like my privacy.

 No thank you for stores open on Thanksgiving.

I’d like a day off.

 No thank you for the diet beer.

I’d like a stout.

 No thank you for the leased car.

I’d like to buy one.

 No thank you for Daylight Savings Time.

I’d like you not to mess with the clock.

 No thank you for “liberal” presidents.

I’d like Richard Nixon to come back from the dead to see that he’s left of the Democrats now.

 No thank you for the miniature American dream.

Mine is still fullsized.

Send us your fun/striking/provocative/shocking poem to
Be sure to read our Report on the Pop Poetry movement!

NEW POP LIT Print Issue #1 Is Coming!

NPL Cover two

WHAT will the print version of New Pop Lit look like? We’re not sure! All we know is that Detroit’s most kickass young artist, Alyssa Klash, has done the cover for us. We also know that the issue will contain dynamic– no, nuclear– writing of the like you’ve never seen. We guarantee it!

Underground legend Jessie Lynn McMains has provided a story about two young women that’s stronger than anything by Mary Gaitskill at her best.

Chicago’s best story writer Thomas Mundt has given us as bizarre and well-written a tale as you’ve ever read.

A host of other fantastic writers will be presented; talents like Terry Sanville, Kathleen Crane, Robin Dunn, Colin James, Wred Fright, Brittany Terwilliger, Dan Nielsen– each writer unique; exploring the idea of pop literature in an original way. And more.

We intended our first issue to be unlike any literary journal ever seen. A new direction. Literature produced with a DIY attitude and a zine edge.

NEW POP LIT The Print Version will debut in Detroit June 19th at the Allied Media Conference. Watch for it!

Questions for Wred Fright!

Wred Fright

Today we throw a few impromptu questions at zine superstar Dr. Wred Fright, hoping to catch him off guard. How will he respond?


QUESTION #1: Do you have a favorite short story writer living or dead?

ANSWER: I do not have a single favorite short story writer as I like too many to pick just one.  However, I will name a few for anyone looking for a good read.  I recently reread a book of stories by P. G. Wodehouse and enjoyed them quite a bit, though it was easy to see his winning formula at work when reading a bunch in a row (better to read one at a time).  And, just today, I read “The Egg” by Sherwood Anderson and was reminded of just how good a writer he was.  Among Americans, I’d say the three best in the last century were Carver, Hemingway, and O’Connor, but with so many fine writers to choose from, that’s certainly quite debatable.  Worldwide, Borges, Joyce, and Murakami come to mind.  I’m also a little puzzled that the Nobel folks apparently think that Alice Munro is a better writer than Margaret Atwood.  Not only are Atwood’s stories more interesting, but she’s a more versatile writer overall.

QUESTION #2: Who will save Cleveland: Lebron James, Johnny Manziel, or you?

ANSWER: I gave up on Cleveland sports when my fellow citizens reauthorized a sin tax so I can pay more for beer and the team owners can have more money to pay men millions of dollars to play children’s games, so I have no opinion on whether it will be LeBron or Johnny saving Cleveland. Given the history of local sports, I would forecast more disappointment, but I hope that I am wrong. It also probably won’t be me; I’m only here by happenstance and have little interest in the area anymore, though I remain somewhat oddly fond of it. Cleveland could probably save itself if the people here would quit being so corrupt, incompetent, and insular (hey, even changing two of the three might work). My best local illustration of what it’s like to live here is a recent murder of a barowner, in which the leading citizenry of the area did their best to rally not for stamping down on crime or ending the poverty that can lead to it, but for convincing people that they should be sure to patronize the restaurants and shops in the neighborhood of the murder. I was reminded of the idiocy of George Bush when he encouraged people to go shopping to support the war on terror. Money apparently trumps everything else in America anymore (maybe it always did), even basic decency and sense, and Ohio is essentially America in miniature.

QUESTION #3: Should the UFC’s Ronda Rousey fight Cris Cyborg?

ANSWER: I don’t follow UFC, so I also have no opinion on Rousey and Cyborg (based on non-answers such as these, I apparently am approaching Zen enlightenment or complete apathy–in any case, I apologize, as the questions were good). People actually trying to hurt one another is disturbing and hurts my delicate artistic feelings (which is better, at least, than getting kicked in the head). I figured out that I pretty much only like wrestling because it allows me to tap into the reptilian part of my brain that enjoys competition and violence while actively subverting and ridiculing that aspect with the cartoonish humor and underlying ballet where the opponents are actually working together. Maybe it’s the same in UFC, but they’re better at hiding the strings. I don’t know, but I like Brock Lesnar much more when Paul Heyman does his talking for him.


Wred Fright is the author of the two novels, The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus and Blog Love Omega Glee. For more information about him, please visit

(Watch for Wred’s pop story, “Brian Moves Back,” soon to be posted at our main site,