i always eat my lunch in my car. i heat up my lean cuisine, grab my book, and head out to my car. if it's hot i turn the air on, if it's cold i turn the on the heat. i just have to get out of the office, and if i stay in my car i can get the most reading done. so i sit in my car, plug in my zune and read.
today as i sat in my car nibbling on my lean cuisine grilled steak sandwich, i watched this funny little squirrel in the fairly diseases oak tree in front of my car. actually he was kind of big, (hey bear with me here, i know people hate squirrels) he would scurry his little legs up the tree and into the branches. i couldn't see him weaving in and out of the branches, but i could see the little acorns thudding to the ground. one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight... and then he would scurry back down the tree grab one acorn and swiftly take it to the little area filled with flowers and mulch. he dug a little hole in that mulch, and placed the acorn it, his beatty little eyes darting around making sure no other little squirrel was watching him bury his nuts. then he would go grab another acorn and do it all over again. and i was locked in. i just kept watching him.
and it reminded me of when i was little girl.
when i was a little girl we had a little black squirrel who lived in our tree in our front yard. we called him mr squirrel. my mom and i would take our container of walnuts into the front yard with us and feed them to mr squirrel. every day, we would stand at a distance and throw them at him, cooing at him, beckoning him to be our friend. and everyday we would get a little closer. soon mr squirrel and i were best friends. when he was hungry he would even come stand on our porch waiting to receive his bounty.
now, i know this is wrong on so many levels... we were welcoming a diseased rodent onto our porch and into our lives, and i am sure the animal lovers of america would hate that we were taming this little guy, and actually training him not to forage food on his own. but he was my friend. mr squirrel and me, we were inseparable.
i would talk to him, and he would talk to me, we would feed him, and he would watch us, and thank us, and he always came back for more. when we moved out of that house, i worried about mr squirrel. i would miss him, and would the new tenants feed him like we did? i was too young to realize of course they wouldn't. in fact when this little black squirrel came scratching on their door for nuts, i am sure they called animal control, or shot the little booger on the spot. oohhhh, poor mr squirrel.
i never hated squirrels. and every time i see one squished in the road, or searching for nuts, i think of mr squirrel. i think of simpler days, only worrying about having enough nuts to feed mr squirrel. i think of days spent with my mom learning new things, swinging on my tire swing, doing puzzles and reading books. i think of days of sunshine and sweat and not feeling the heat of the scorching sun. i think of climbing trees, and bruises and scratches covering every inch of my legs. they never hurt, i don't remember the pain. i remember days of neighbors bringing us baked pies, and the old lady next door asking me to come keep her company. i remember days of no worries or fears, full of innocence and hope, love and family. i think of the days of childhood, and how happy every day was.
and i hope some day my daughter and i can step onto our front porch and throw nuts at the squirrels in the yard, and make friends with mr squirrel, and i hope someday she remembers those days as fondly as i do my own.