By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
I’ll admit that I have not spent as much time outside this summer as I promised myself I would. After that first skin-tingling sunburn of the season, I started to take my outdoors time very seriously: never go outside without sunscreen, always bring water, make sure you're wearing appropriate clothing. With these things complicating it, the idea of taking a leisurely stroll seemed less and less appealing.
Luckily for me, occasionally, things do not work as expected. On Wednesday, August 26, I found myself back at Powisset Farm after months without a visit. Rather than covering a cooking class or a holiday event, I was tasked with walking around a route and covering what is referred to as a StoryWalk. The basic gist: walkers can read a story as they amble along an easy trail. The stories are frequently changed, making it perfect for families looking to entertain (and tire out) their kids.
Last time I covered StoryWalk, I had the chance to read a book about chickens making their way out of their coop for their first time. I consider myself a bit of a children’s book connoisseur, so I’m always happy to read new ones. This time around, the title is “Those Darn Squirrels!” by Adam Rubin.
The title alone told me this was going to be a book my mom - who'd accompanied me for the visit - and I liked. We began at the usual spot, only to find that there was only one page instead of the normal two. I’ve done the StoryWalk a few times and have never encountered skipped pages. I can’t help but wonder that maybe another walker thought the squirrels did something particularly heinous and stole the pages.
The last time I was here it was silent, except for the rustling of some trees. The ground was frozen, but there was almost no snow. It was cold and I struggled to keep hold of my camera in my glove-covered hands. This time, the temperature was somewhere in the 70s. The ground was dry and I wasn’t weighed down by winter boots. The grass was trodden down perfectly on the path, making for an easy walk. Last time I was here on a Sunday, I saw no one except for a lone biker who I don’t think was supposed to be there in the first place. This time around, I spotted a group of kids walking ahead.
After realizing that pages were all mixed up, I decided to look the book up on YouTube. I’ve learned that YouTube has everything and sure enough, there is a video of the booking being read allowed. My mom and I instantly gravitate to the story. Mr. Fookwire is an old man who enjoys bird watching (and only birds). He installs bird feeders so he can see his fine feathered friends daily, which, unfortunately for Mr. Fookwire, attracts squirrels. I laughed at the line about squirrels being geniuses. “They are also excellent at math,” the narrator notes. Mr. Fookwire tries his best, alongside his loyal birds, to stop the squirrels from getting to the bird feeders. But the squirrels are fast planners. When the birds leave, Mr. Fookwire is sad, so the squirrels plan to make him better by giving him a gift. My mom and I couldn’t stop laughing at the sight of the squirrels counting up coins and using an abacus for calculations.
We admired the phenomenal scenery as we went - wide open fields, beautiful trees, and even a few critters along the way (we did move quickly past the spider that was larger than a silver dollar). As we started to make our way back, I kicked something small. I looked down to see a collection of nuts with bites taken out of it. “Squirrels, they collect everything,” my mom chuckled, referencing the book.
When we got back to the car, I couldn't help but think that the StoryWalk was the perfect thing for a fine summer day. For a half hour, we got to sink into the world of Mr. Fookwire and his squirrel friends, as well as enjoy the lovely scenery around us without a care in the world. Isn’t that exactly what we all want when we spend time outdoors?