Heaven was first grade when we got to use pens with nibs,ink pots and blotting paper. Since then I've been in love with words. Writing down my thoughts helps me to make sense of them. Blogging keeps them all in one place. Besides, I might not live forever. These "Chronicles" will help me sort the chaos in my head into some coherent thoughts, memories and stories which may, or may not, be of interest to anyone but myself. And, with a little bit of luck, to the odd passerby.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
A squirrel darted into the road, just as I was pulling away from our mailbox the other day. He was a squirrel of very little brain. They're all squirrels of very little brain [With apologies to Lone Gray!] They run out into the road, see your car, stop, overcome by indecision, dither a moment, change direction, stop again, and then, at the worst possible moment, run right under your wheels. Sometimes, miraculously, they run between the wheels and dash to safety....Not this one.
My heart sank when I heard the small, sickening "Thunk!"
"Oh no!" I wailed when I saw him in the rear view mirror, lying there, legs frantically kicking.
Squirrels are plentiful. Not an endangered species in these parts, but I hate to hurt anything. Well, almost......I am completely cold blooded about mosquitoes. Sentient beings are one thing, mosquitoes quite another.
Tears of remorse squirted from my eyes as I willed him to regain his footing and run off into the grass. It didn't happen. He was a goner. When I reached my driveway, I turned around and drove back to the scene of the crime, hoping that he would no longer be twitching. If I had killed him I wanted it to have been swift. There was no twitching. He was lying perfectly still, eyes staring, blood oozing from his mouth. But at least he wasn't a little one. I wouldn't have a squirrel mother's broken heart on my conscience....... This fellow had been around a while, buried a lot of nuts. He might even have been the Cheeky Charlie who climbs on the pool screen and chatters insolently at El Gato. If you blocked out his bushy tail, he looked very much like a rat. Which only made me feel a tiny bit better. If it was his day to die I'd have much preferred not to have been the instrument.
Glumly, I drove home.
Roadkill is a fact of life here. We live in an area that, fifty years ago, was completely wild. We frequently see possums, armadillos, gopher tortoises [these are the most heart breaking,] squirrels, and, recently, a bunny, lying by the side of the road, having come out on the losing end of a spat with a bigger creature, one made of chrome and steel. I always feel a pang of shame when I see them, as this was their habitat long before it was ours.
Nature is so practical and efficient though, it never takes long for roving bands of buzzards [I think of them as Men in Black--nature's sanitation crew] to find the roadkill and clean it up. When I drove by the mailboxes the next day the squirrel was gone. I know the county doesn't work that fast!
In the long run, one less squirrel in the world won't cause me to sleep less soundly [Sorry Calvin!] I just don't want to be the one culling the herd.