No, Not That Kind of Squirrel…

Mother Nature knows
wonderful ways of teaching–
Pay Attention Here:

Your mama said stay,
sit and behave, child of mine,
Long way to the ground.

Long tumbles are hard,
the wiser of us do know.
Lucky, your landing.

Safe, again, you are–
sit and behave, child of mine.
Fool-proof, luck is not.

So the oldest spawn found a squirrel.

A baby squirrel.

That fell out of its nest…

“Mom! What’s a good name for a squirrel?”

“Tom’s Pal Frank.”

“Who’s Tom?”

“The kid whose mom will let him get a pet squirrel.”

“… but there’s a baby one on the ground by the tree. It’s really tiny and I think that its mom left it.”

“Oh, joy… ”

Now here’s where I remind you all that I am an evil mother who routinely gives away the family pet. Like, all fifty of them (because I’m also the evil mother who is married to a man who has seen far too many Meg Ryan-esque films and thinks that bringing home a cuddly puppy is something all women find romantic).

It was a tiny thing— cute in an ugly sort of way. Seemed to be breathing fine and was making the little sucking motions with its little mouth [insert collective ‘awwwww’ here]…

And had the kid not been standing beside me, I’d have totally called it Dionne and walked on by.

But he was standing beside me, staring at me in that way that spawn does when they’re secretly stashing away all of the details from a particular moment in order to reference it at a later date and hold it against you.

Like that time when I was thirteen and my mom had fifty too many Crown & Cokes and was demanding at the top of her lungs that the lady in the Burger King drive-thru tell her where the goddamn beef was.

And since I just so happen to bring that little incident up every time we pass a Burger King sign, I put the little rodent in a box (to the relief of the kid, of course) and did what any mother in my situation would do…

I plurked about it.

Thankfully, the marvelous being known as Joy knew of a great website devoted entirely to the rescue of squirrels… Apparently, baby squirrels fall out of trees a lot. Who knew, right?

The website said that I could simply stick “Dionne” (box and all) at the foot of the tree and that, as long as she wasn’t boiling up in somebody’s stew pot, its mother should come back to claim it. (It also said that if she didn’t return in a couple of hours that I would have to feed the little bugger with an eyedropper on some sort of feeding schedule and raise it as my own until it was old enough to be set free back in the wild… Ummmm, yeah.)

So I did.

And she did.

And all was right with the world.

… right up until the point when the kid, while walking the dog this morning, actually watched the baby squirrel take yet another nose dive from its tree, that is.

And while I sat there listening to the kid describe how the little thing didn’t manage to survive this fall, I started thinking about how many times we’ve seen a fallen squirrel in our tree-filled yard (0) and the odds of the same squirrel falling out of the same tree yet again so soon (pretty high) and realized that maybe, just maybe, that little squirrel didn’t accidentally fall out of that tree at all…

Maybe, just maybe, there are mothers out there even more evil than the one that gives away the family pet.

Even if they are just squirrels.

And I’m really happy about that.

For more Haiku Friday, be sure to visit A Mommy Story.

August 29, 2008
Categories: Daily, I Heart Demerol


1.©2008 by Courtney Hebert as Judith Shakespeare.
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3.Blog title courtesy of Oscar Wilde, pseudonym Virginia Woolf, design JudithShakes.