Thursday, December 05, 2013

A letter to the squirrel I ran over

Dear Mr. Squirrel

At first I didn’t believe it happened.  I was just driving along headed home from running errands.  I saw you there on the parkway, headed towards that tree.  Then that black Mercedes backed out of a driveway and you, instead of heading for the safety of the walnut tree three feet away from you, you darted into the street.  I tried to slow down, but there wasn’t enough time or space and my brakes were kind of soft. I didn’t hear a thud or a thump or a crunch so I was sure I missed you.  But as a drove away, I could see you, a much flatter you, smashed into the street, not moving.

Dammit, squirrel, why did you go into the street?  Didn’t your mother teach you anything?  Look both ways before crossing the street.  You should have been playing in the backyard away from the traffic, not in the front yard.  Why would you go that way?  The tree is always safer, unless Lindsey Lohan is driving nearby but she would never be in our neighborhood.  How could you be so dumb? I mean besides you tiny, tiny brain, which is now tinier and flatter.
Maybe that wasn’t you.  Maybe it was a pile of leaves.  Maybe you got between the wheels, you ducked down, then scampered back out of the street before I could look back and see you.  Even if that is you on road, maybe you didn’t get squished under my tires.  Maybe you are stuck to the road in fear, unable to move.  I mean, that happens to squirrels, right?  Okay, if you are injured, maybe it’s pretty minor.   Maybe I just clipped your tail.  Oh, please be okay Mr. Squirrel.
How could I have done such a thing?  I am not going to be able sleep tonight.  I’ll be thinking about the innocent squirrel life I ended, tossing and turned in my bed, crying.  I am such a terrible person.  This is going to take me days or weeks to get over.  What am I going to tell my children?  What would they think if they knew I was a squirrel killer?  I am so depressed.
 But, really, he’s just a squirrel.  There are hundreds of them in our neighborhood.  We see so many when we walk the dog.  Plus, come on, it’s just a fucking squirrel.  I mean, circle of life.  If I didn’t get him with my car, somebody else would have, or worse, a coyote would have got him.  At least when I squished his tiny little head into the road, it all ended quickly.  I don’t think a coyote would have been that compassionate.  Yes, I am compassionate.  I love squirrels, and I’m going to keep loving them, even if they keep running in front of my car.

So long, Mr. Squirrel.  I hope you are in squirrel heaven, chasing your squirrel friends, jumping from tree to tree, eating through the pumpkins I send to pumpkin heaven after Halloween. You are in a far better place.

The Driver of the White SUV who squished you

Thanks for reading

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