T’was springtime (though in truth, quite hot),
I’d picked my book, I’d found my spot,
A cocktail and a comfy chair,
A plan for happy hours there.
Instead I fear I’ll ne’er forget
What happened next (I haven’t yet).
Settled under dappled sun,
I’d opened book and just begun
To read about some English rabbits
Who’d left their home and changed their habits
In search of far-off warrens that
Would keep them safe from owl, stoat, cat.
These creatures in their human text
Perhaps aroused what happened next:
For soon enough I came to sense
A presence on the nearby fence:
Grey and with a fuzzy tail
Was all I saw (I guessed him male):
A specimen Sciuridae.
He seemed a friendly little guy,
Who turned and bowed as if in greeting
And tempted me away from reading.
I felt o’erwhelming need to capture
This interspecies backyard rapture.
So poised my phone to take a pic,
And in that breath ere camera click,
My thoughts a thousand tales were spinning
Of this, our friendship, just beginning.
What exploits might befall a gal
And her new charming squirrel pal?
I dreamed perhaps we two might spend
Our afternoons as friend and friend.
He’d forage acorns as I read,
And when he felt himself full fed,
He’d laze away in nearby rays—
And that is how we’d spend our days:
And though there’d pass no words between us,
You’d know us friends had you but seen us.
Judge me harsh, I’m sure you do.
Hindsight hurts (and more things too).
That’s right, I thought I’d made a friend.
I’d learn my lesson, in the end.
For in that moment, eye to eye,
I failed to factor: squirrels fly.
And all my dreams aside were swept
When in that breath, the squirrel…he leapt.
Dear reader, hast thou aught experience
With airborne rodent interference?
Turns out my skills with sport and ball
Work not on squirrel. Not at all.
A twisty, turny grey torpedo
Launched at me as if I were tree, though
Nary leaves nor roots have I;
Instead of bark, my noble cry,
“SWEET HOLY JESUS WHAT IS HAPPENING!?”
Accompanied by flap and swing,
Did nothing to dissuade his flight.
Sailed past my limbs and did alight
Upon my shirt and clung securely.
I then responded, quite maturely,
With calm command, “Now down, Squirrel. Sit.”—
Just kidding, y’all: I lost my shit.
I tugged and flapped and spun and reeled,
I grunted, cursed, I cried and squealed.
(Neighbors who this whirlwind viewed
Might rightly guess I’d come unglued.)
The words I used can’t be repeated.
But in the end, my “friend” retreated.
And that, dear friends, is why I need
Four walls around me when I read.
He haunts me still, my psyche scarred,
I dare not set foot in the yard.
I tell this tale now safe inside.
If Squirrel comes back, please say I died.