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Sighing again, in her mind's eye she pictured the back
porch step.
So many memories surrounded this little area of her yard!
She had begun to lovingly call her backyard "Shoo-Land",
and if "Shoo-Land" had a meeting place the back porch
step was it!

When she had first begun feeding the little cottontail,she
had brought the bowl out to the evergreen trees and
placed it in the shade beneath the branches.
But as Summer pressed on, this part of "Shoo-Land" had
become Mosquito Heaven and she was forced to move
the bowl to the apple tree and hoped he would come this
close to the house.
That evening as she sat on the step feeding peanuts to a
squirrel she had befriended, she saw Shoo come running
through the loose board on the old gray fence that
separated her yard from her neighbor's...making a bee
line to the evergreen trees.
He searched for a moment underneath the branches, and
as he did so she arose from the step and carried the bowl
to the apple tree, shaking the food it held and calling his
name.
"Peanut Squirrel"
Much to her delighted surprise the little cottontail had come running!
He stopped short about two feet from her as she quietly knelt down and placed the bowl beneath the
tree. Immediatley he began eatting, savoring the pellets and treats hidden underneath.When ripe apples
appeared on the tree she would take them and cut them in pieces to share with her friend. What a
beautiful summer that had been!

Winter, though, was going to bring it's own set of circumstances and the closer she could get Shoo
to the house the better.
So in mid summer she had moved the food to just off the patio near the back porch step.
The move had no affect on Shoo in the least and he more than willingly came to the new meeting
place.

Night after night they had sat together. Sometimes she would sit in the grass with him, but most
often she sat on the porch step with Shoo sitting in the grass just directly off the patio beside  her.
She remembered the storms. She would huddle up against the back door and Shoo would huddle in
the flower bed next to her.
Together they would watch as the gray clouds covered the sky. And the lightening! So beautiful!
And once..during a spring storm, there was the most beautiful rainbow!

She wondered who sat on the porch step now.
Did another woman sit admiring the heavily ladden apple tree...planning the many pies to be made and
eaten?
And, did she wonder what had caused the little bare patch just off the patio by the back porch step
where the grass just wouldn't grow?
And what would she think if she knew the most unusual friendship that had taken place right where
she sat?

Once again, the elderly lady sighed...and wondered.
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