No…I’m not going to call any politicians stupid or compare them to Morlocks or anything like that regardless of how true that might be. (Republicans.) I am just going to mellow out and pretend that I don’t care.
I want to talk about squirrels. I like squirrels. I like squirrels about the same as I like crows, and that’s quite a lot. I sometimes wonder how often a squirrel falls out of a tree or even if they ever do. I have seen very young squirrels — the little hairless critters — fallen from a nest before, usually after a storm, and figured they had no sense about themselves anyway and certainly no strength to hang on against the wind. But what about adult squirrels?
Late this afternoon I was out behind my place and I heard a loud thud. Something had fallen. I turned and saw a large squirrel thrashing about 15 feet away. It didn’t look good, but quickly he was on his feet — more or less — and tried to run, which didn’t start out well. I presumed the worst and felt sorry for the poor beggar and then he got to his feet again and sort of zig-zagged in stops and starts toward some shrubs growing next to the garage.
Perhaps if I were not so close to the squirrel he might have stopped there to recover, but he leapt for a tree trunk instead, barely hanging on, then letting go, rolling back into the shrub.
I decided to talk the poor squirrel at this point just in case he had picked up a bit of English somewhere along the way.
“You ok, Squirrel?”
No answer, but I wasn’t expecting one. I reassured him that I was not going to make him my dinner or my slave. Either he understood or resigned himself to whatever might come. The squirrel sat there panting and after a minute, jumped again and somewhat clumsily climbed a tree and found a branch a safe distance from the ground and crawled out to the end of it.
I talked to the squirrel for a while and he seemed ok, even if it wasn’t one of his best days. Or was it? Perhaps he’s falling out of trees quite often.
This had to have been quite a fall, however. I’m not sure how he survived. The nearest branch above where he landed has to be 20 feet up and this had to have been a clean, unbroken fall; I heard no branches slapping and breaking before the thud. Perhaps squirrels are like cats, they might be built to fall. Unlike a cat, however, they are built more like a tube of sand with short stocky legs.
I checked again to see if the squirrel was still out there. (It is difficult to ID a squirrel.) I saw no squirrel on the branch where I left him earlier and no dead squirrel on the ground beneath it either. I’ll go on believing that he is just fine.
The photo of the squirrel above, by the way, is another squirrel I chatted with earlier in the week. A youngster. He did have a bit of an attitude — impatience, really — but otherwise well-mannered, unlike so many kids these days.