Fiction

To the (Gangsta) Squirrel Who Narrowly Dodged My Car Last Summer

Good Day, squirrel.

This is a declaration of urban war.  Your criminal actions last summer rendered my auto dashboard a Red Sea of neon warnings; and my two rear passengers screamed as if snatched by the Reaper.  Today I tell you:  you shall own these streets no more.

Your lawlessness also has led to the creation of my first Varmint Gang Threat Assessment.  Permit me to explain, and to share with you some of my findings.

Our near-collision last year was less than five seconds in duration.  I will recount  the event, in case you’ve forgotten:

          0:00:01. My sight is suddenly directed toward your beady, soulless, yet surprisingly confident eyes.  We stare each other down.

          0:00:02. The inception of your attack: a grey-coated blur running toward the wheels of my car.

          0:00:03.  My brake pads gnash.  Only then I sense your panic.

          0:00:04. You pivot from my left front tire, and dash in the opposite direction.

          0:00:05.  The zigzag pattern of your scamper may seem to some as sheer neuroses.  But I know better.  Only a creature accustomed to running from bullets knows this to be a survival skill.

It's time to question why this happens.  And take back our streets.

It’s time to question why this happens. And take back our streets.

This occurrence was not just unlucky, nor can it be blamed on the simplicity or indecision of a squirrel’s brain.  The facts confirm it.

Since the event, I have logged extensive hours of surveillance.  Picture, if you will, a Jane Goodall of the CIA.  Did you observe someone on that distant park bench, taking copious notes in a field log?  Hopefully you mistook me for a college student with a penchant for carrying binoculars and wearing an Indiana Jones hat. One moment I looked on your community with wide-eyed fascination, documenting my theories; the next I pinned up squirrel profiles on my cellar wall, drawing possible roles and alliances with a black squeaky marker.

From my observation, it seems that you and your brothers are well organized. Which explains, last summer, the distant frenetic whistling of two other critters, cheering you on as you ran.  Once I skidded to a stop, you retreated, and these two joined in your escape.  Now, having collected intelligence on your operation, I gather that your posse ran because they were done observing what they needed for judgment.

Judgment for what, you ask?  For full induction into the Maniac Nut Hustlers, that’s what.  In the early summer months, when kernels are scarce and there is fierce competition with the blue jays for seeds and berries, there must be a premium on the good stuff.  I have gathered evidence that a privileged few of your community hold access to acorns stashed from the prior autumn.  These O.C.’s (Original Critters) are willing to barter these acorns in return for squirrel favors; some acts being far too hideous for my written reference.  They haze the less privileged gang prospects such as you.

How, exactly, did he earn this stash?  (Photo courtesy of E. Schleiger investigation files.)

How, exactly, did he earn this stash? (Photo courtesy of E. Schleiger investigation files.)

Members display typical gang-related behaviors.  Some have been spotted walking with a limp indicative of vehicle collision injuries (particularly the brave Lil’ Beatz, whom I so named due to his mad beat-boxing skills).  Many others display frenetic behaviors suggesting an addiction to methamphetamines.  Skirmishes are also common, leading to compromised tails for some.  One squirrel I designated Tubby One-Eye is a larger, enforcer-type whose past brawls left him with one permanently closed eye.

Oh, Lil’ Niblet, you may try to laugh off my theory with your “tsk tsk tsk” sound, but let me finish.  Your act of violence appears to have been a desperate display of machismo, and of your loyalty to MNH.   A way to prove to the big guys that you are gang material.  You may have felt momentarily invincible, with the promise of full initiation teasing your tiny mind. Perhaps there was a fast-tempo, high-pitched, squirrel cover of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” echoing in your enlarged rodent ears as you sprinted.  But…. I recall seeing in those slow five seconds definitive evidence of mange.  And you see, you vile but nimble critter, I have educated myself about the fact that such infestations can actually be spread from animal to animal.  Thereby making you an outcast.  A hungry pariah in a time of relative famine.  A creature of desperation, driven to extremes.

I am saddened that I’ve not yet been able to determine if you were successfully initiated into MNH.  Nonetheless, I suspect you still reside nearby, as I’ve seen clumps of wiry brown-grey hairs in the snow this winter.  I admit I do worry a bit that the tiny red graffiti at the base of my tree, appearing to be the primitive rendering of an acorn, is the work of yours, or your homeys.  If this is meant as a threat or a mark for me, know that I will not back down.  I won’t have my neighborhood overrun by loathsome elements. (Additionally, some jars of peanut butter have gone missing from my pantry, as well as my SuperNuttySweetCornCrunch cereal.  I am currently recruiting investigative colleagues to help me take back what is mine!).

Squirrel, should you continue your wicked ways, I pray that heaven grants both amnesty and admission to corrupt vermin.  Soon enough the weather will warm, and you should know that this summer my sympathies will not again be exhibited. Perhaps I may confuse my gas pedal for my brake pedal.  Or upon seeing you in a state of vulnerable rest, I shall release my hounds.  Or, death could come in a basket of contaminated acorns.  If these more straightforward attempts fail, Lil’ Niblet, I will not rule out engaging in talks with Sharp Beak Bane, the O.C. of the GhettoHawkz gang (oh, yes, I’ve heard chatter about him in my intel).  In any case, I intend to keep you anxiously guessing my next move.  Just as you do to me.

This is fiction, people, and not an invitation to animal cruelty.  Be kind to squirrels, even the gangsta ones.  Peace.

5 thoughts on “To the (Gangsta) Squirrel Who Narrowly Dodged My Car Last Summer

  1. I feel your pain. However the little buggers should be squashed like the vegetables they undoubtedly are, sans merci as the french might say if they spoke anglais. WARNING – not all vegetables…..er….vegetarians will subscribe to this view. They should also be squashed, sans merci,, as …well you get the picture. Squirrels are rats with good PR, vermin with a fluffy tail, nut crackers extraordinaire whose nuts should be removed forthwith. Notwithstanding and all that. I loved your post, I hope you KILL them!!!!

  2. Well, I’d be careful with this talk around them. I think some understand English. Don’t underestimate their ability to organize against us. If you go after one or a few, there are more nearby, just watching and waiting… I’m starting to think it may be better to befriend them, and go undercover, and learn even more.

  3. Don’t do it! They’ll drive you nuts………… If you see the way they fight over the contents of the peanut feeder on the bird table you would have no fear of their ability to organise, though I will admit they have low cunning and ingenuity. The bigger danger is from the people who will insist that “Squirrels are people too” and start fighting for Squirrel Rights!

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