I charged across - ears and tail upright in my best aggressive pose - expecting him to disappear over the fence and out of the garden to safety. Them's the rules of the game, after all.
Not this one.
He started to run like greased lightning along the top of the fence with me keeping pace alongside the bottom of the fence.
Now when I got to the far side of the garden I had to stop because a barricade of recycling bins next to the bike shed were in my way. Any sensible squirrel (if there is such a beast) would have continued running along the top of the fence to the front of the house and safety...leaving me to growl "Curses - foiled again!".
Not this tree rat.
As soon as I skidded to a halt bin-side, he stopped above me too - turned round on his tail and ran back the way he'd come. So, of course, I took off like a rocket too.
Within seconds he was at the far end of the fence where it joins our neighbour's garden (sorry about that last fence panel by the way, guys!) and he was again faced with a perfect escape route which he couldn't fail to take....surely?
Not this crackpot squirrel.
He turned tail and headed back along the top of the fence towards the bins.
I think you have probably got the picture now. This continued for another dozen times with us both bounding backwards and forwards around the perimeter of the garden, separated only by the height of the fence panels. My eyes never left him as he motored like a demented Davy Crockett hat on little legs along the top of the fence.
To complete the picture across the road a white cat sat in an upstairs window with a perfect view - his head going backwards and forwards like a tennis fan on centre court at Wimbledon.
I think I vaguely remember hearing the Lady Of The House shout "WINNIE!!!" but I was too far gone to take any notice.
Eventually, the squirrel disappeared over the edge of the fence from site.
That was that - we all thought.
But clearly he hadn't had enough of a daily workout. When I came back from my morning walk and went out into the garden for my daily brushing with the grooming mitt, the cheeky blighter was on the pear tree.
I took off from the doorstep in a single bound and chased him across the grass...a tantalising whisker's length away from his tail. This time there was a definite "WINNIE!!!!!!!!" behind me.
|I'll get you next time - given half a chance|
Curses - foiled again.