The Woodjin: In the Toilet, by Lbilover

A bit of silly based on a RL incident that happened to some neighbors years ago. 


When Fred came marching into his office, clearly a turtle on a mission, Sean said, "Hey, Fred, what's cookin'?"

Fred blinked his tiny red eyes, executed a ponderous three-point turn and marched out again. Sean got up and followed him, wondering what on earth was spurring the phlegmatic box turtle to such unaccustomed activity. Not that a box turtle could ever move fast, but for Fred, the speed with which he was moving definitely fit the Piney definition of highballin' it. Something sure had lit the proverbial fire under his stubby tail.

If he were the Woodjin, Sean could simply have asked Fred where he was headed, then picked him up and carried him. Instead, he paced slowly and solemnly behind him down the hall, wondering with amusement if this was how the police in the OJ car chase had felt.

Fred led him straight to the bathroom and up to the toilet. He raised up on his clawed feet and extended his long, scrawny neck, but the gesture wasn't even necessary. Sean could hear the splashing the instant he entered the room. Something was in the toilet.

Oh lordy, he thought. Given that this was the Woodjin's house, it could be anything. And while Sean was pretty well accustomed to anything wildlife-related now, there were some anythings that he really preferred not to find splashing around in the toilet, skunks and snakes among them. But whatever it was, he'd have to deal, because Elijah was out in the woods and it could be that the whatever-it-was couldn't swim and was in imminent danger of drowning.

Cautiously, and (if he could have known it) doing an uncanny impression of Fred, Sean stuck out his neck and peered into the toilet bowl. "What the fuck?" he exclaimed. There was a squirrel in the toilet. A squirrel that wasn't Rocky. It looked wet and miserable and as if it very much wanted out. Now.

But first things first. Sean quickly shut the bathroom door. If the squirrel thought it was miserable now, that was nothing to how it would feel if Rocky sussed out its presence in the house. The fur would be flying then for sure. 'Death to Squirrel Invaders' might as well be shaved into his forehead.

Sean got a large bath towel from the rack, and holding it so that both his hands were covered, lest this squirrel prove as temperamental as certain other squirrels he knew, reached carefully into the toilet. Fortunately the squirrel seemed to understand that Sean's intentions were peaceful and let him lift it out of the toilet without a struggle.

"Whew," Sean exhaled, wrapping the little creature snugly inside the towel so that only its head showed. It was an exceedingly cute little squirrel, with abundant long black whiskers and round black eyes at least twice the size of Rocky's, even though its body was far smaller. "If you had to fall into a toilet," he said to the squirrel, holding it against his chest and rubbing its soaked fur, "you picked the right house. Or maybe you already know the Woodjin lives here. Either way, he'll check you out and make sure you're okay after your little adventure." He looked down at Fred, watching them with an unblinking red stare. "You're a hero, Fred." Fred ducked his head in what was clearly the turtle equivalent of 'aw shucks'.

And then Sean heard a noise at the bathroom door. Sniffing followed by agitated chattering and scratching. Uh-oh. It was Rocky, and he sounded royally pissed. Sean had planned to carry the squirrel out to the wildlife hospital in the barn, but he couldn't envisage that journey ending well with a rampaging Rocky on the loose.

"Looks like we're really in the toilet now, Fred, metaphorically speaking. Any advice?" he asked the turtle, but Fred only looked doleful. "Rocky, it's okay, I swear," Sean said loudly. "Yes, there is a squirrel in here, but there's not a thing for you to be jealous about. He's not planning on staying."

Far from soothing the savage beast, however, sounds indicative of sharp teeth gnawing on wood were now emanating from the other side of the door.

"I'll get you out of here alive, I promise," Sean said to the squirrel, who chittered something in reply that loosely translated probably meant, "Just who are you trying to kid here? I'm fucked."

This was ridiculous, Sean thought. He couldn't simply stay in the bathroom until Rocky chewed through the door and attacked the hapless stranger. While the mental telepathy between him and Elijah was still spotty, it usually worked when the chips were down - which they were, literally, to judge from the small pile of wood fragments gathering in the gap under the door.

Uh, Elijah? I'm having a bit of a, well, animal crisis in the bathroom. You might want to get back here asap.

On my way.

Sean lowered the lid on the toilet and sat down, still holding the towel-wrapped bundle. "I'm trapped in the bathroom by my own squirrel," he observed to Fred. "How screwed up is that? And how long do you think Elijah is going to laugh this time?"

Fred blinked twice.

"Yeah, I'd say at least that."

It wasn't all that long before rescue arrived. But even so, by then Rocky had chewed away a considerable portion of the bottom of the door, enough so that his twitching whiskers and sniffing nose could be seen.

"Rocky! What on earth are you doing? Stop that at once," said Elijah, sounding unwontedly stern.

The nose withdrew. Rocky let out a spate of agitated chattering.

"I don't care who's in there. That is absolutely no excuse for destroying the door. Now get up here on my shoulder and behave yourself. I don't want to hear another peep out of you, understood?"

Silence fell. The door handle turned, and Elijah came in with a chastened Rocky perched on his shoulder. "What's up?" he asked.

"Fred alerted me to an intruder in the toilet," Sean said, getting to his feet. "I found this little fellow in a fair way to drowning."

"Oh, a flying squirrel. They do manage to get themselves into the strangest predicaments sometimes. Poor little thing," Elijah said sympathetically.

Sean wasn't sure if it was technically possible for a squirrel to growl, but the noise Rocky made then sure sounded like one. Elijah glanced up at Rocky. "Don't even think about it. You're behaving very badly, Rocky, and I'm disappointed in you." Sean bit back a smile as Rocky covered his eyes with his paws. "Here, why don't we exchange squirrels?" Elijah went on, and gave Rocky another glance as he moved forward, holding out his right arm. "Remember what I told you, or no peanuts for a week," he warned.

Rocky climbed meekly across Elijah's arm and onto Sean's shoulder, and then Elijah took the towel-wrapped flying squirrel from Sean. He bent his head and murmured to it and after a minute said, "He was hunting a moth and came right in through the window and landed in the toilet. He's young, and not a very experienced flyer yet. But he says he's fine. Still, he should probably stay overnight in the hospital just to be on the safe side. Pneumonia is a definite worry with these guys."

"A flying squirrel. Wow. That's," Sean was about to say 'awesome' but in fairness to Rocky changed it to, "interesting."

"Well, they don't fly in the sense that birds or bats do, but they have patagia that enable them to glide for incredibly long distances."


Elijah unfolded the towel part way, and after another murmured 'conversation' with the flying squirrel, grasped one of its tiny front paws and gently extended the leg so that Sean could see the fur-covered membrane attaching its front and hind legs. "See? Kind of like a parachute."

"Not quite as fascinating as pedicles, but pretty cool nonetheless," said Sean, amused to see Elijah blush very faintly.

"You are incorrigible, Sean," he said, bundling the flying squirrel back up. "And now I'm going to take our unexpected guest over to the barn. Are you coming, too?"

"In a bit. Maybe I should spend some quality time with you-know-who first. Soothe his ruffled fur."

Elijah leaned in and kissed Sean. "You are amazing, you know."

"Surely I should be saying that to you, Doctor Doolittle."

"Nah, it's easy for me, but how many other men would rescue a flying squirrel from the toilet and not mind the door being chewed up?"

Sean grinned. "I'm not sure I deserve so much credit, Elijah. It did feel kinda like being in a Stephen King movie, waiting for the crazy ax-murderer to bust through the door. Thank goodness the Woodjin arrived in the nick of time and saved the day."

Elijah giggled. "Oh Sean." Still giggling, he departed, stepping over the small pile of sawdust and chips on the way.

When he was gone, Sean said softly to Rocky, "Friends? You know I love you best of all the squirrels in the entire universe of squirrels." Bracing himself for a hair tug of epic proportions, instead Rocky wound his front legs around Sean's neck as far as they would go (which wasn't very far) and burrowed against him, chattering softly.

The flying squirrel was very cute with his big eyes and patagia, but when it came down to it, Sean wouldn't trade his ornery, jealous, door-eating Rocky for anything.