10.24.2006

Suicidal Squirrels

This morning a squirrel ran out in front of my car as I was on my way to work.

I clenched my eyes and waited to hear a thump or crunch but heard neither. I willed myself not to look in my review mirror, not wanting to know if the squirrel had gone to meet his maker.

I gave in and peeked timidly into the rearview. No squirrel! He had survived! I was not a squirrel murderer... today!

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Last spring, I was driving down a road. It was two lanes both ways and separated by an island of grass and shrubberies between.

As I drove, I saw a squirrel begin to cross the other two lanes of traffic.

"Poor little squirrel," I thought. "I hope he doesn't get hit!"

The squirrel sprinted across the two lanes of traffic and safely made it to the grassy area in the middle of the road.

Then, the squirrel, as if he had not had enough excitement for the day, decided to sprint across my lanes of traffic. I slowed down, watching him, not wanting to have guilt and squirrel guts smooshed all over my car.

He made it across my lane of traffic just as a car on the right side of me sped past...

The squirrel made a u-turn to try to escape back to the safety of the landscaped island...

And ran directly under the right front tire of my car.

I looked in the rearview mirror that time and saw the smashed squirrel on the road.

I had done it... I had made roadkill.

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I remember as a child, I was the oldest of two girls. My little brother was not born until I was nine years old, so my father used to try to get me involved in his interests since he didn't have a son.

My dad liked to go hunting.

He would take me down to Grandma and Grandpa's house, which sat on about sixty acres of woods, to go squirrel hunting. We would go down on a Friday night and wake up before the sun came up on Sunday morning.

Dad and I would walk through the woods, looking for little squirrels hopping from branch to branch, enjoying the brisk fall air. Dad carried his rifle and would expertly shoot the the squirrels.

Then he and I would tromp through the brush and leaves and look for the fallen creature. When we found him, I would pull out a plastic grocery bag. Dad would pick it up and put it in the bag. It was my job to carry the deceased until we were finished hunting and back at the house where Dad would skin the squirrels.

Dad might as well have brought a hound dog with him. At least the hound dog wouldn't have talked the whole time and scared the squirrels away.

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One time, Grandma made squirrel stew. It looked like it still had hairs in the meat. I refused to eat it.

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And while we're on the subject:

6 comments:

Memphis Steve said...

My dad used to hunt squirrels, but not for the meat. I mean, the dog loved the meat, but there was no cooking involved. Dad hunted them because they raided his peacan trees (that's pronounced "pickahn" and NOT "pee-can" as some Yankees insist we say down in the South, but don't.) One time Dad decided to start sending me up the trees to dump the squirrel's nests and send them running so he could shoot at them while I was still up in the tree, now all covered in squirrel pee. Yeah, good times it was not.

Anonymous said...

Nice tail!

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Squirrel stew? Aghhhhhh!

Anonymous said...

One time I crashed into a flying bird...

It was pretty cool. ;)

Steve~

Nichole said...

Glad ya didnt hit the squirrel! Similar story - Weds night driving home from a friends. Dark 2 lane road (felt like I was in a bad horror flick), I see something huge and white ahead sitting on the road. I slow down, then come to screeching halt! Sitting there on the road is a HUGE Barn Owl. How cool is that? Not something you "run into" often. It rotated its head and looked at me like "What are you staring at?!". Wish i woulda had a camera!

LBseahag said...

they are rats with fluffy tails..i say kill em all...

that stew with hair made me throw up a little...