May 23rd, 2014

avatar w/buff hat


When I got home to walk the dog today, there was a dead squirrel on the pine needles in the drive.  It had been a young squirrel.  It wasn't smooshed or anything.  Just lying on its side, perfect fluffy tail behind, eye frozen open, little squirrel paws weirdly restful, as if in a comfortable sleeping position.

I thought about putting it in the trash can but couldn't.  I got the shovel, dug a grave, made a soft bed in the bottom of it with loose dirt, got the little fella down there on a side, and gently covered him/her up with dirt.  I stuck a little stick in the loose earth above the body, stood there next to the ferns with my hands on the shovel handle, and said a few words.

I was aware that I was feeling compelled to enact a human ritual of respect for life, bespeaking such respect.  I was aware that that was what was happening, and that was what I did.  I also knew I wasn't going to have any great words for the squirrel, who seemed so ripped off, dying young like that, from whatever mysterious thing felled the little fellow creature.  And I did it anyway.