Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On Squirrels

I was walking down the sidewalk one day when I came across a squirrel. He was chowing down on a nut, just generally squirreling it up, while I walked towards him. Granted, he was there first, but I thought that right-of-way kept with the substantially larger, sentient being in situations such as these. Inevitably, this squirrel would see a large mass barreling towards it, and he would scurry off onto the grass as I passed by almost unnoticed, and we could both go about our day.

And yet as I rapidly approached this creature, he looked up at me as if to say, "WHAT? OH, I'M SORRY, I'M A FUCKING SQUIRREL. FUCK YOU." Now to be fair, I laughed this off rather quickly. What could he, a tiny squirrel, do to me? If I were to simply keep walking, he'd eventually be forced to step out of my way.

But for a split second doubt crept into my mind, and at that moment I had lost. I pressed onwards, but we both knew the outcome. I landed my last footfall in front of the furry beast, and as I swung the other leg forward, ready to crush this living tribble, he looked up at me with fire in his eyes and broke my will completely.

I stood there, balanced on one foot out in the open for all to see; ill at ease, confused, vulnerable. I had been bested by a squirrel. This possibility had never occurred to me. It was unprecedented. All I could do was turn on my heel and beat a quick half-circle around my better, hurrying onward hoping no one had seen. He uncaring eyes burned in my mind, and I have never felt smaller.

Yet even today I harbor no hard feelings for my better. He was a worthier foe than any I have faced before or since. He let no thing stand in the way of his squirreliness, and for this I admire him. Of all the souls I've met, his was the most … human.

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