Belly Up, Legs in the Air

Last week I presided over a funeral for a squirrel. My daughter called upon me to say a few words and I was kinda stuck. I didn’t know the squirrel; we had no relationship prior to his landing dead near the side of my house. Even his demise was somewhat shady. And frankly I was pissed that the rat-bastard picked my yard to fall into. Go across the street buster…die over there.

It’s these kinds of things — the bizarre random happenings that always tend to freak me out. The squirrel got me thinking. Why did he die here? Did a cat get him? And if so, was it my cat? Am I personally responsible for this creature’s death? And will it come back to haunt me? Again, why couldn’t the stupid thing die across the street? That house is empty. No one would care.

But if the cat didn’t get the squirrel, what did? There were no visible signs of blood or ‘munching on’ that a cat would do. And strangely enough the dumb dog didn’t want to roll on it or even try to eat it like she does every freakin ground mole that shows up in the yard. So what’s wrong with this carcass if even a dog won’t touch it? My mind is spinning into overtime.

Electrocution? The line runs right above where I found the body. Oh great. Do I need to call an electrician now? Is there a live wire above my kitchen window? Am I in danger? Will I be the next one lying in the side yard? If so, I don’t look for my daughter to bury me, or say a few nice words, or, well really even notice I was gone. But still — why did this damn squirrel die?

My mind downshifted and I went crazy. Mutant squirrel, contagion, flesh-eating bacteria, advanced signs of aging. I foresaw it all. We were going down. Acid baths and radiation testing in my future. My hair is going to fall out. Dammit! I just got it back to healthy!

And somewhere right before my head actually exploded and I was donning a hazmat suit and dousing the house in gas, I realized. Squirrels die. I took a step back, but down the bleach and accepted it. Squirrels die. Again, squirrels simply die.

So I said a few nice words for the squirrel, wished him a happy afterlife and threw a shovelful of dirt on him!

See you on the other side Mutant Squirrel!

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