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The story so far: Lavinia, a squirrel from the Long Clan in Longview’s Civic Circle, has found a treasure: a silver bracelet with an acorn that will make a precious gift for her Grandmamma, who is to be honored at the Nutty Narrows Night of Lights as the oldest living Eastern Gray matriarch. But a big, smart crow named Carl Brock sees Lavinia hiding the treasure. He steals it, and as he flies off to Kessler Province, the little squirrel sees him. Distressed, she prepares to go to Kessler Province, where her cousin Kip lives, to retrieve it. Her parents forbid the trip because it’s too dangerous, until Lavinia describes the silver circle, and why it means so much. With a promise to be careful, she dons a red cape, crosses the Old West Side territory to Kessler Province, fortified by peanuts from the Human benefactor and the safe crossing on the Bruce Kamp Memorial Bridge. Together, she and Kip join forces to retrieve the silver circle .

Kip waited in Carl Brock’s tree while Lavinia went back to Kip’s nest and fetched the dog tag. She carried the tag out to the end of a branch that hung over the street and dropped it in a place where the crow would see it.

No surprise Carl Brock soon circled overhead and spotted the shiny bit of metal on the street. He flapped down to the street and picked up the dog tag.

Kip didn’t waste a second. He hurried up into Carl Brock’s nest, stuck his head through the Silver Circle and hurried back down the tree.

Lavinia met him and suggested they retrace her route back to the Civic Center. For one thing, the Bruce Kamp bridge offered a relatively crow proof route across the first busy street.

The weight of the Silver Circle slowed Kip down. After all, squirrels aren’t used to carrying objects around their necks, even if it is a gift for a beloved Grandmamma.

Half way up the tree to the Bruce Kamp bridge, the bauble caught on a twig, swinging Kip around so that he was facing away from the bark. Quickly he swiveled on his flexible foot joint squirrels can do this but it was too late. He tumbled down, pulling the circle free. Kip hit the ground with a thud, twisting his left leg.

“Oh, nuts!” he exclaimed. Despite his pain, Kip held fast to the treasure.

Lavinia raced down the tree to her cousin’s side. “Are you all right?” she asked.

Actually, squirrels are hardy creatures, and luckily Kip had landed on a clump of leaves that hadn’t been raked yet.

They both took a few minutes to catch their breath.

Carl Brock landed and grabbed the silver circle in his powerful beak. Kip and Lavinia tugged back valiantly, but Carl Brock pried it loose and flew out of squirrel hopping range, just to taunt them.

Lavinia faced him down. “OK! You win, Carl Brock,” she said. The story about the Night of Lights and Grandmamma’s coming honor spilled out.

“Mr. Brock, we really think that the best place for the circle is on Grandmamma’s neck, not hidden in your nest,” she said. “What she means to all of us is far more than any shiny thing we might hoard for ourselves!”
uggs chestnut 'The Silver Circle' Ch