But the squirrel has to take some of the responsibility here.
I was just trying to clear snow off the sidewalk.
Time slowed down.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you know what I’m talking about.
Hearing the spinning of tires in snow rounding the corner down the street.
I yanked the starter cord and the snowblower roared to life.
Exhaling into the air I could see my breath.
As the car sped by, must have surprised the squirrel crossing the street? it came flying over the snow covered parkway in front of our house in a full tilt boogie.
The sight of a flying squirrel startled me. I’d heard the stories. Saw the cartoon. Yet, I didn’t know that they were indigenous to this part of the world? in the jungles maybe? Not North America.
Falling back into the snow bank. the grinding snowblower blades swung in the direction of the airborne squirrel. poor dumb bastard didn’t stand a chance.
I watched as he flew overhead in the direction of the blades, our eyes met just for a moment? he seemed both frightened and really surprised to see me laying in the snow.
Like an out of control ski jumper who’d already committed. there would be no high marks for this jump. and no medal at the end of the competition.
It was ghastly.
The freshly fallen snow on our parkway was…..well?
I tried to save him. but alas my skills as a squirrel surgeon are limited.
Seeing what was left of him, I made a quick judgement call. I had to do the humane thing and put him out of his misery.
The shovel seemed to do the trick.
Although, having to explain to several seniors leaving church across the street what I was doing with the shovel? proved a wee bit unfortunate.
The police were called to our home, they took my statement. wanting to know if I had any plans to leave town?
When I told them I didn’t? they asked me to be more careful. that this town didn’t take kindly to squirrel killers. reminding me it was a friendly village. they had laws against this sort of thing.
I mumbled under my breath as they left.
Taking the remains of the squirrel to what I refer to as Boot Hill in the corner of our backyard.
I gave him a proper burial and spoke some real nice words over him. I’m sure his kin folk would have been pleased.
Looking back. It was probably a mistake that I named him, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
Rocky’s not alone out there in Boot Hill. he’s buried along with a dead opossum I found frozen solid next to the garage last winter, a decapitated chipmunk my wife found in the backyard. and what appears to be the remains of some former homeowner’s deceased beast, its scattered bones made it look like it had been in some sort of tussle?
When I came inside the house.
My wife asked, What were you doing with the shovel in the backyard?
I told her, I was burying Rocky.
Who The Hell is Rocky?!? she demanded.
That’s when I just lost it and started to sob. I know, I know?…..it’s just a squirrel…you say. but you weren’t partly responsible for his demise.
Hoping it snows again soon to cover the massacre stain out in front of our house. Too many kids in the neighborhood are stopping by to check it out.
I’m just trying to distance myself from the whole incident.
I can’t change things. if I could go back and save Rocky? I surely would. but I can’t. what’s done is done.
We grieve the loss, we may get angry. We may question our own exsistence. But at some point, we need to put it behind us and move on.
I’d like to think Rocky would have wanted me to.
You have to learn to let go. Once grief gets ahold of you?
It can be hard to move on.
But take it from me, it’s the best course of action.
Life is so short. For us all.
It’s the only way out.