To Grieve A Squirrel

* Warning: Today’s blog may be a little graphic for some readers. Please continue at your own risk, and have tissues close at hand.

I love animals. Especially those with four legs and covered in fur. Cats, dogs, even small critters like guinea pigs and yes, the lowly little squirrels.

I love watching their cute antics. I enjoy feeding them peanuts and training them to trust me enough to take them from my hand. I name the ones I can identify by their markings. They become my urban wildlife pets. Especially lately, where one day seems to blur into another, I get a kick out of sitting in my enclosed front porch, having my morning coffee while the “tree rats”, as I sometimes affectionately call them, entertain me.

And I hurt when I see one killed on the roads. Even if it’s not in my neighborhood, I feel sad for the little critters who don’t make it across the street. And I cringe when I see my furry little friends bolt across my street with a nut from me in its mouth. I’ve been laughed at for yelling at them to “get off the road!”

Lately, some of the young squirrels have been coming by. We know they’re babies because there’s a couple of spots where we know squirrels have been nesting. The younger ones are smaller and shy compared to the “regulars”. And the older squirrels will bully them too, often chasing them onto and back across the street.

That’s exactly what happened last night (Monday) as I was sitting in my porch, feeding the fur kids, and puttering on my laptop. I had watched one of the grey squirrels chase the baby black one, who ran into the road. It then found something interesting to snack on, and sat there. A few seconds later, to my horror, a black pickup truck came tearing around the corner and ran right over my little friend, who didn’t have a chance to decide which direction to run. The truck didn’t even attempt to slow down, and kept up the same speed even after hitting him. I jumped out of my chair, yelling and cursing. I’m sure even the people in the noisy truck heard me. Redneck so-and-so’s! I was, and still am, livid!

But it was over. With misty eyes and shaking hands, I went outside and pulled the little critter up onto the sidewalk by his tail. I didn’t want him to get mangled even worse. I apologized and stroked his little head and back, even knowing he was already gone. (Eric then got rid of the body for me). Sitting here writing this, tears are once again streaming down my face.

Some of you reading this may think I’m soft, or stupid for grieving for a squirrel. There’s loads of them around. They’re just urban pests, right? Wrong. They are little souls, each and every one. This world is a cruel and harsh place. If we can’t love the creatures who share it with us, what does that say about humanity? Here we all are, trying to survive a global pandemic. It breaks my heart to think that we’re going to come out of it still with zero respect for Life. When are we going to learn to take better care of ourselves, each other, our planet and all of the creatures we share it with?? Just a little food for thought….

And to the person driving that black pickup truck, I have NO kind words for you. I hope you are haunted forever by all the critters you have run over. Including my Baby Blacky, may he RIP.

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Published by jenmcnaughton

Born in Scotland, I moved to Canada in 1980 with my family. I was 10. I became homesick in my 20's, and longed for my beloved Scotland. Happily, I recently returned home for good! I am a photographer, freelance writer and bestselling author, and entrepreneur. I am an animal lover and advocate. My other hobbies include exploring, collecting sea glass, reading and music.

2 thoughts on “To Grieve A Squirrel

  1. OH Jennifer I’ve got tears in my eyes as I try to write this. How horrible of that driver!! That could have been a person, a small child. They would not have stood chance. I’m so glad you were there to help the little guy even though he was gone. My animal-loving friend I completely understand your feelings here. I would do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was absolutely heartbroken, Lisa! I still can’t think about it, or look at that spot on the road without feeling sad.


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