Dead Squirrel

So we have all these pine trees at our house, therefore we have a little population of squirrels. I also have a bird feeder, which attracts all sorts of really neat birds but ALSO attracts these squirrels. I know we shouldn’t feed them, these interlopers, but I can’t resist the charm of bushy tails and bright eyes, nor can I help from laughing as they disappear head-first into the feeder to get a few seeds. I have been putting some unsalted peanuts (in the shell) on the edge of the feeder and on the ground around it, and that seems to keep them away from the seeds for the most part.

We got home last night and there was a freshly dead squirrel on the road in front of our house. There was some consternation about it, worries that one of “ours” had been hit, but it wasn’t; squirrels don’t all look the same any more than black people do, right? I secretly think “our” squirrels were over on our side of the road saying,”Yo,dude! Free food over here, why don’t you come join the party?” but it was a clear plot to eliminate the competition. The Dead Squirrel was clearly a robust specimen, far more than our young scrappy ones. I think they beckoned him over at just the right time, and as he got hit they were all doing little squirrel high-fives and saying “Well played.”

After dinner Steve was talking about needing to go remove Dead Squirrel’s carcass before it got completely squished. Owen volunteered, and armed himself with paper towels with which to hold the tail and throw him into our garbage can. After about ten minutes, he came back in the house, a grim expression and watery eyes. He told me that was the most disgusting thing he had ever done and it smelled so bad he almost vomited. I said sorry, next time one of us adults would do it, so sorry etc…and he looked at me and said, “It wasn’t the squirrel that made me want to vomit, it was the garbage can.”


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