Shocked and stunned initially from Bear Dog’s presence in her path, and now his greeting, Shirley didn’t know what to say.  While she was devising a plan, she asked indignantly, “Who are you calling ‘miss?’ Do you see a ‘miss‘ around here anywhere?” She gestured broadly with her arms and swept her tail around her in dramatic fashion as she looked behind her. She turned back around and waited as she held Bear Dog’s eyes with hers.

Bear Dog’s eyes opened a bit wider with surprise at the drama and the challenge. He was not accustomed to receiving push back from the smaller creatures.

“Ahem. Well . . . I . . . What I meant was . . . . ”

His voice trailed off as he searched for the right thing to say. For some reason he was having trouble getting his words out. Drat. Squirrels these days. Who did they think they were, anyway?

Regrouping a bit, he asked, “How would you have preferred I address you?”

Shirley paused. After thinking for a moment, she responded with a twinkle in her eye. “Well, Ms. Shirley Squirrely Extraordinaire, of course!”