Upon leaving an appointment southwest of Sand Springs, in a quiet wooded neighborhood, I noticed a squirrel running out a driveway toward the street. It was a healthy looking specimen with a reddish brown coat and a huge fluffy tail. I slowed down and watched as it stopped just onto the road and picked up something. What was it, an acorn? No, it was bigger. The squirrel was hovering over something, and I thought possibly it was something that might have fallen out of a trash can or thrown out a car window. Maybe he had found a half sandwich. I stopped as I drew near, and saw what the squirrel was tending to—another squirrel had been recently run over by a passing car. The squirrel had his wounded friend in his arms and seemed to be shaking it—maybe saying “wake up”, or “I’m sorry”, or “please don’t die.”
I paused there for a few seconds and wondered what I could do. The grief stricken squirrel looked up at me with a worried panic in his eye, as if to say “Mr, please please help us!” A wave of grief bowled me over. As a man, I rarely admit to crying, but this was tearing me up and there was nothing I could do. I drove on, knowing that eventually the injured one would be left to die, and would be pulverized by more cars passing through, or picked apart by scavenger birds. As I drove, I wondered if the squirrels were siblings--maybe brothers, or friends who played together every day? Was the agenda for the day to gather nuts and bury them for the coming winter? Was this a mother and father with a nest of squirrel babies somewhere in a tree?
Life is such a fragile thing. A commuter on their way to work probably never noticed they had hit an animal. The life leaked away with little fanfare, and no one will remember this lost life. If only I could get this sadness out of my heart.