The squirrel

Where did I hide my nuts?

The clueless squirrel does not know how to count

She runs and hides nuts, which she then goes out to find

Where did I put them? says loudly and nervous,

While watching a bear with her cub fishing in the river,

Did you look in the gaps? asked the cub

I’m on it, and I can’t find anything,

Why did I have them? whispers the squirrel.

There goes a rabbit who says hello and asks, are you looking for food?

No, I am not hungry, answers the squirrel

but I can’t find my nuts.

It comes back and happens to me every time!

The seagull in the sky begins to squawk

It seems to me that you buried them again,

Tired the squirrel decides to dig,

One hole after another will uncover.

Already weary, she finds a nut. It’s not just one, is it maybe ten?

One and two nuts plus this, are three,

four, five and another one, is six,

seven, eight, plus one, are nine,

the last one is great, it is number ten!

With her spirits up, she learned how to count

And with her ten nuts she went to sit

After a while, the bear and the cub, the rabbit and the seagull arrived

Everyone was happy to see her at ease,

celebrating her nature in their beautiful garden

where the squirrel flourishes wiser and free

The animal kingdom is celebrating the squirrel existence

who thought she was clueless but only to find

a group of wild friends to tell her stories.


Photo Submission Reminders

“Unknown Paths” – Photo submissions due August 31st.

“A Tree” – Photo submission due September 30th.

(See previous post: Interactive Trees & Paths photo submissions)


The man o’war hug

(this story is written in English and Spanish)

Evita que se arruinen tus vacaciones y actúa rápido en caso de que te toquen, no te talles y sobre todo, no te orines.
Photo credit:

English version>

February 14th, 2022

Today, Valentine’s Day is being celebrated here in the United States, and living far away from my childhood friends, I began to miss their hugs. I miss those shared laughs, the ones that make emotions grow until you cry out of happiness. Not many people know how to hug.

Or at least I haven’t felt that satisfaction of the hugs given from within. There are people who hug sideways, who extend their arms and just as you approach to receive them they tilt a little and stick their shoulder in your eye (if they are taller than you) or in your chest, if they are your height.

There are also those in heat. Yes, like those puppies that come to rub their genitals on your leg for the simple pleasure produced by that liberating touch of contained desire.

Then, those repressed beings come and hug you from the front, even before you extend your arms as a sign of wanting to say hello, and they press you against their chest to feel your breasts, and they go up and down in small movements of rare excitement. To get away you have to go to the handbrake, that is to say to your arms, which push and manage to release those pheromones spread all over you.

With the pandemic, hugs were banned. Now we bring our elbows closer as if we were hens and flap our wings to greet each other.

Or the usual fist. The friendly fist like the one boxers give to each other before starting a fight.

I keep thinking about hugs

Last month, a friend took her only son for a trip to the Caribbean Sea. Her vacation was cut short because an aguamala (Portuguese frigate, jellyfish or man o´war) hugged the minor’s ankle with its tentacles.

She told me with maternal anguish that she felt guilty for not having heard or seen the warning signs. Those extrasensory, intuitive alert signals. “The sixth sense failed me”, she repeated to me. Before entering to the beach, many tourists commented that due to the pandemic and global warming, there was an overpopulation of jellyfish.

Seeing the sea after so many months of confinement, it is very difficult to attend to the other signs of the universe. Then mother and son jumped into the immense blue, until the boy began to scream in pain. When my friend could see what was happening, she tried in seconds to remove the living jelly from his ankle.

While he was screaming, in those same seconds her head was desperately flooded with possible solutions heard or seen on the internet: whether to ask the child to pee on his foot, but depending on the type of jellyfish, that could aggravate the injury; What if you put vinegar on it?, but who has vinegar at that moment? Or shaving cream?…

Finally they ran to the hotel, where first aid was given to relieve his burns with an ointment.

Upon returning to his hometown, and after going to school for a couple of days, wearing socks and closed shoes, his foot became swollen and infected. This time he was admitted to the hospital to drain the wounds, disinfect them and monitor the child’s reactions.

Anguish, recriminations, and the obnoxious questions that at times afflict us: the whys?

Why me?, why right now at this point in my life?, and the list goes on…

I only hope that the child heals soon and well, and that my friend embraces herself and forgives herself for whatever she thinks she is guilty of. How I would like to be there and hug her, with one of those supportive hugs.

That stinging hug from the aguamala made me connect with the unwanted hugs of some people. And no matter how much intuition is developed, some beings look harmless, they camouflage themselves among the days, between their clothes and their smiles, they dive into our lives and go around with their tentacles wanting to hug us, and with their poison, the one we don’t see. They knock us down, affecting us. They wait silently, floating they stay, watching how we burn, how we swell, or how we react after the event.

Is it because of beings like these that hugs are extinct? If so, how do we heal? Perhaps we should return to healing as children heal, sooner and fearless. With the same enthusiasm with which my friend’s son is planning his next trip to the ocean.

And on this far shore, I will welcome them, with a compassionate, non-abrasive hug.

El abrazo del aguamala*

*aguaviva, fragata portuguesa, medusa.

14 de febrero de 2022

Hoy, que se celebra el día de San Valentín aquí en los Estados Unidos, y que vivo tan lejos de mis amigos de infancia, comencé a extrañar sus abrazos. Extraño esas risas compartidas, las que te hacen crecer las emociones hasta llorar de dicha. No mucha gente sabe abrazar. 

O al menos no he sentido esa satisfacción que dejan los abrazos dados desde adentro. Hay personas que abrazan de lado, que extienden sus brazos y justo cuando te acercas a recibirlo se ladean un poco y te clavan el hombro en tu ojo (si son más altos que vos) o en el pecho, si son de tu estatura. 

También los hay en celo. Sí, como esos perritos que vienen a sobar sus genitales en tu pierna por el simple placer que les produce ese roce liberador de ganas contenidas. 

Entonces vienen esos seres reprimidos y te abrazan de frente incluso antes de que tu extiendas tus brazos en señal de querer saludar, que tu quieras recibir ese abrazo anunciado, y te aprietan contra su pecho para sentir tus senos, y suben y bajan en movimientos de pequeña y rara exaltación. Para zafarte tienes que acudir al freno de mano, es decir a tus brazos, que empujan y logran desprender esas feromonas esparcidas sobre ti.

Con la pandemia quedaron vetados los abrazos. Ahora acercamos los codos como si fuéramos gallinitas y aleteáramos para saludarnos.

O el consabido puño. El puño amistoso como el que se dan los boxeadores antes de iniciar una pelea.

Sigo pensando en los abrazos. 

El mes pasado, una amiga llevó a su único hijo a pasear al Mar Caribe. Sus vacaciones se vieron truncadas porque una aguamala (fragata portuguesa) abrazó con sus tentáculos el tobillo del menor. 

Me contaba ella con angustia maternal, que se sentía culpable por no haber escuchado o visto las señales de aviso. Esas señales extrasensoriales, intuitivas de alerta. ̈El sexto sentido me falló¨, me repetía. Antes de entrar a la playa muchos turistas comentaban que a causa de la pandemia, y del calentamiento global, había una superpoblación de aguamalas.

Al ver el mar después de tantos meses de encierro, es muy difícil atender las otras señales del universo. Saltaron entonces madre e hijo al inmenso azul, hasta cuando el niño empezó a gritar de dolor. Cuando mi amiga pudo ver lo que pasaba, intentó en segundos quitarle la gelatina viviente del tobillo. 

Mientras él gritaba, en esos mismos segundos a ella se le inundaba la cabeza desesperadamente con posibles soluciones escuchadas o vistas en internet: que si pedirle al niño que se orine sobre el pie, pero que depende del tipo de aguamala eso podría agravar la lesión; que si echarle vinagre, ¿pero quién tiene vinagre en ese instante?, o ¿espuma de afeitar? …

Finalmente corrieron al hotel, en donde le brindaron primeros auxilios, aliviándole las quemaduras con un ungüento..

Al regresar a su ciudad de residencia, y tras ir a la escuela un par de días, usando medias y zapatos cerrados, el pie se hinchó y se infectó. Esta vez quedó internado en el hospital para drenar las heridas, desinfectarlas y vigilar las reacciones del niño.

Angustias, recriminaciones, y las odiosas preguntas que a ratos nos asaltan: los ¿por qué?

Por qué a mí, por qué justo ahora en este momento de mi vida, y la lista sigue…

Solo espero que el niño se sane pronto y bien, y que mi amiga se abrace y se perdone por lo que ella crea que es culpable. Cuánto me gustaría estar ahí, y abrazarla, con uno de esos abrazos solidarios.

Ese abrazo urticante de la aguamala, me hizo conectarme con los abrazos indeseados de algunas personas. Y por más intuición que se desarrolle, algunos seres se ven inofensivos, se camuflan entre los días, entre sus prendas de vestir y sus sonrisas. Se zambullen en nuestras vidas y van por ahí con sus tentáculos queriendo abrazarnos, y con su veneno, ese que no vemos; nos echan abajo, nos tumban. Esperan silenciosamente, flotando se quedan, observando cómo nos quemamos, cómo nos hinchamos, o cómo reaccionamos después del evento. 

¿Es por seres como estos que se están extinguiendo los abrazos? y entonces, ¿cómo nos curamos? 

Quizás debamos volver a sanar como sanan los niños, pronto y con menos miedo. Con la misma ilusión con la que el hijo de mi amiga está planeando su próximo viaje al mar.

Y en esta orilla lejana los recibiré, con un abrazo compasivo, no abrasivo.



Fragata o carabela portuguesa (a.k.a. aguamala, aguaviva, medusa.)

Portuguese man-of-war

Project Do Better: A call for helping hands

Please help Shira Dest and others by joining their community project of creating a book and partnership to “Do Better” (formerly known as Baby Acres) Beta Readers are needed, a logo design is needed and more. See this landing page for more details to put a floor under poverty.

Context, Critical Thinking, Continuous Learning: Project Do Better

    Project Do Better works  to create a society where every child is safe, and that is more fully inclusive for all of us. 

  Project Do Better presents a vision of a world in which we all work toward a full safety net, and a better tomorrow, for all of us. 

   I have a request to make:

   I believe that planning ahead is a good idea, so:

   Feedback on the chapters can most easily be commented upon here, for the 5th draft.


  We need, still,  a better central portal set up for the project (any volunteers to do that, please?).  This temporary page works for now, I guess, maybe?

Oh, and a logo, please, although a friend of a friend may be working on this, not verified yet.

   The sections, of my nonfiction WiP Do Better, every Wondering Wednesday, …

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