Monday, October 24, 2011

I Almost Stepped On You A Couple Times

I walked outside to my car to begin my day. The air had the fresh chill of the impending Fall and I breathed in that welcome cool that signaled my favorite season. The day, the season, had been launched -- for me. The opposite can be said for what I found laying at the end of my driveway: A freshly dead squirrel. That was a week ago, and today I found no trace of him ever being there. No reminder of our branching paths remained. I did not know his name, nor he mine, but I would like to think his presence in my driveway will not go without the sort of reverence he deserved.

Each day and night I passed by his frozen stare I noticed that while I was able to infer things about his life among us there were just as many questions left never to be answered. He held the riddles and mysteries of existence close to him much like a precious acorn plucked from his favorite tree, perhaps the very tree that looms over my own front yard.

The curious location of his body did, after all, suggest he may have plummeted to his death from a branch directly above. As we all know, squirrels are the most limber of backyard creatures; employing light-footed speed with deft execution that we marvel at, and thus we accept their presence as opposed to other backyard critters that we chase away with our rakes. This makes the idea of the squirrel falling from a tree tragically ironic.

This squirrel was also fat. In the past I have observed the squirrel clan that live in my front and back yard to be oppressively contentious whenever I pulled into the driveway; so much so that I've actually stopped in my tracks and looked up at the tree because I half expected to be pummeled with acorns. This peanut gallery of acorn hoarding fools made sounds that I had never heard before and there was a mocking, antagonizing tone to their chuckles. This brings me back to the fat, dead squirrel. Clearly, the squirrel clan doesn't fuck around, and it is my belief that my dead friend may have become greedy and stuffed his fat body one time too many and the rest of the clan had decided to do something about it. Make it look like an accident, perhaps.

Whatever did really happen out there, a message has been sent: The critters of our front and back yard will have their presence known and their turf respected, and they're not afraid to take lives to make this clear. I believe the possum is calling the shots from behind the curtain, and there is nothing that makes me believe we've seen the last of his work. Apparently they can make bodies disappear too, which is good in a way because there was something wrong about 3 guys pointing and laughing at a dead squirrel every time they walked by it.

His legacy will go down as a rumination on gluttony and greed, as well as a cautionary tale of misplaced allegiance and backyard politics. He was expendable to his own kin, there and gone again both in life and in death, like a passing breeze, a complete non-factor.

I'm sorry if I ran over you with my Saturn.
In remembrance:

No comments:

Post a Comment