(1) As was required by our assignment, I stepped outside to take inspiration from nature. I sniffed my mother’s rose bushes. I felt the gentle breeze sweep across my cheek. I watched the leaves swaying, the butterflies floating, and the bees dancing among the flowers. I waited expectantly for inspiration to arrive, but it eluded me. Then, I noticed the squirrel.
(2) Although it would not be obvious to the casual observer or to the trained eye, the squirrel turned out to be the inspiration for my painting. It is true that a squirrel’s body and tail are a series of gentle curves, while straight lines and sharp curves fill my painting. It is also true that a squirrel is a soft gray color, while brilliant primary colors explode across my canvas. Nonetheless, my inspiration truly was a bushy-tailed rodent.
(3) The squirrel was clinging to a branch, eyeing the bird feeder hanging from it. My mother had recently replaced the bird feeder in an attempt to secure the stock of birdseed for the birds rather than the squirrels. The squirrel perched on the branch and studied the advanced contraption for quite some time. It appeared to be hatching a plot to outsmart technology and abscond with the goods. After thoroughly sizing up the situation, the squirrel leaped from the branch and landed on the narrow ledge that wrapped around the base of the feeder. It clung to the feeder as it swung back and forth erratically. Seed flew out from beneath the plastic trap door and sprayed across the lawn. The squirrel promptly leaped to the ground and gathered his bounty. Then he climbed back onto the branch and repeated the process several times.
(4) Admittedly, at first, I saw the squirrel simply as a distraction from a frustrating task. However, the more I thought about the squirrel’s behavior, the more inspired I became. If a squirrel could work so consistently to snatch some seeds, couldn’t I apply that same tenacity to my project? I went inside determined to do my best work no matter how much time it took. My painting clearly does not reflect the appearance of the squirrel or his movements. However, I can honestly say I don’t know if the painting would even exist had it not been for the inspiration of my furry visitor.
1. Why was the author outside?