It’s Friday and I’m not in the mood for seriousness. I wrote this yesterday as an introduction to my lesson on “Relapse” in Celebrate Recovery. You’ll have to be from St. Louis to get this. Enjoy the foolishness!
Riley the Codependent Squirrel
Riley, the codependent squirrel, lived in the basement of his parent’s home along the banks of the Mississippi River. Riley had recently returned home after his second failed attempt at Squirrel College. It seemed he never could get the hang of studying with all the distractions of fraternity life and his other extra-curricular activities. Who had time to study when there were parties to attend and hundreds of girls to date? He had a weakness for the ladies. Just seeing them scamper across campus made his tail flutter with excitement. But his greatest passion was playing the banjo.
On his first day back in the basement, his mom got up extra early in the morning to fix a big hearty breakfast of acorns and black walnut pancakes. She knew this was Riley’s favorite meal. She loved doting over her son and seeing his eyes light up whenever he sat down at the kitchen table. But she also had other reasons to make his extra-favorite breakfast. She wanted to make sure Riley was up and out of the house before his dad, Harley Squirrel, came down and started in on him being a lazy-good-for-nothing-son-of-a-squirrel.
“Oh, Riley -boy, it’s time to get up! Breakfast is on the table. I fixed your favorite, acorn and black walnut pancakes.”
Riley just grunted and rolled back over in his warm, comfy nest.
“Riley, come on now. It’s time to get up,” mom pleaded.
“Just five more minutes mom!”
“No son, get up now, you don’t want to get in trouble from your daddy. The pancakes are getting cold. Please dear.”
“Listen to me ol’ lady, I’m not hungry! I was out late last night and I over did it on the beer and peanuts. I’m gassy and I have a headache. Please leave me alone and let me sleep.” With that, Riley turned over and pulled the covers over his head.
Mom Squirrel let out a deep sigh. “What am I gonna do with that boy?”
Just then she heard her husband heading down for breakfast, so she busied herself getting his breakfast on the table and making his sack lunch. She prayed that he wouldn’t get upset that Riley was still in bed.
Harley wasn’t much of a morning squirrel, so he didn’t speak when he walked into the kitchen; no “good morning” or “how did you sleep?” Nothing. He just grabbed the paper, his fork and plate and started in on the pancakes while checking the scores of last night’s game in the Nut-Dispatch. After a couple of bites, he put down the paper and looked up at his wife.
“What’s the special occasion, why am I getting acorn and black walnut pancakes? Today isn’t Saturday.”
“Well, Riley is back home and I just wanted to make something special for his first breakfast,” she answered nervously.
“So where is he? Don’t tell me he already eaten and gone to find a job.”
“Well, no, actually he’s still downstairs…asleep.”
“Are you squirrelin’ me?!” Dad blasted back. “Why isn’t he out looking for work? I told him there was an opening down at the nut factory. All he had to do was get there early in the morning and be the first in line and he’d for sure be hired.”
“But he was out late last night, doing who-knows-what, and he’s not feeling well,” mom explained.
“And that’s it?!”Dad barked. “That makes it ok to stay in bed all day?Because he was out partying last night? I’ve spent the last 30 years cracking my nuts at the factory so I could send him off to college in order for him to get a good paying job, but instead he flunks out, twice, only to return home and live in my basement and eat my food, without even a thank you. I won’t stand for this!” Dad bellowed, his tail frantically waving about.
“Well dear, you know he’s had lots of issues and we thought he was doing so much better. I know he still failed his second attempt at school, but at least he has dealt with his addiction to circus peanuts and French fries. That shows he’s trying. Let’s give him some time to regroup before kicking him out of the nest again.” Mom always did her best to point out Riley’s successes.
“Time to regroup?! My big, fluffy tail!” Dad shouted. “Mother, wake up and smell the cashews. Obviously Riley has relapsed again”
He grabbed the morning paper and showed mom the front page. Mom couldn’t believe her eyes. There on the front page was Riley, once again, making a scene and disrupting the ball game. Indeed he had relapsed again.
Riley AKA. Rally Squirrel