Looking For Meaning In Quiet Moments


There’s a squirrel that has been terrorizing my dogs for the past few years. I’m assuming it’s the same squirrel but maybe it’s different squirrels but whatever the case, they all do the same thing;  run along my back fence over to the telephone pole and while my dogs bark at them.  Typically, after the squirrel hits the pole, they stay there, upside down, just out of reach of the dog until they drive the dog sufficiently crazy and then they will just run up the pole and down the wire to probably terrorize the next backyard pooch.

(I say ‘dogs’ but really I mean ‘dog’.  But one dog dies, I get another dog, squirrel continues terrorizing.)

I was outside reading over the weekend and here comes the squirrel.  I eyeball it and it ignores me, runs along my fence going west, up the pole, over the wire on his little squirrely way.

About 15 minutes later I see him scrambling back but this time he has a huge dark ‘rock’ in his mouth. I was like, wtf.  That can’t be a rock.  How is he holding a rock in his mouth?  I watched him get closer.  He stops and takes a breather on the telephone pole and I see it’s not a rock but a BABY SQUIRREL!!!  My dog teasing squirrel is a MOM squirrel!

She rests for a bit and then heads down the pole to the fence and scampers past me with her baby in her mouth.  It was a really cool moment.  Like, me and nature and that’s all.  I figured she was just moving her nest for whatever real estate reasons squirrels have.

About 20 minutes goes by and here she comes again, back down the fence, up the pole, across the wire.  I wondered if she would come back with another one and about 15 minutes later, she did!

Across the wire, a short pole rest, down the pole, across the fence to who knows where.  So cute.  The little baby just curled up, hanging from his mom’s mouth.

Then, she comes back again.  I again wondered if she’d come back with another baby.  After a while she did.  But this time my dog had joined me. 

She took her pole rest and headed down to my back fence.  But as soon as her feet hit the back fence, my dog perked up and noticed his nemesis sitting on ‘his’ back fence. 

The squirrel noticed him noticing and froze. They sat there that way for a moment and I waited to see what would happen.

As if a gun went off they both took off running at the same time.  The squirrel ran across the fence to the point where it runs behind the house and I can’t see it anymore.  My dog does too. But as soon as they disappear I hear a tiny SCREE! SCREE! SCREE! type of crying noise and I was like OH FUCK SHE DROPPED IT AND MY DOG IS EATING IT OMGOMGOMG!!!! So I jumped out of my seat and ran around the house and ….nothing. 

My dog was there looking like he lost and I followed the SCREE SCREE noise and saw the squirrel running down my neighbor’s fence and then up into a giant palm tree.  The new home.

As I stood there, peering through the slatted fence, I noticed my neighbor standing in his back window, also watching the squirrel.  He didn’t see me.  But there we were standing quietly watching this squirrel transfer her babies into the palm tree. 

It was a nothing moment but yet it felt like something.  I’m not sure why.


I walked back to my book and thought about the SCREE SCREE sounds and figured that when mommy squirrel saw my dog coming she bit down harder than she wanted to.  Bit down into her baby so she could run as fast as possible in order to save them both.  Her baby screaming in her mouth as she ran for their lives. She caused her baby pain so they both could make it to safety.  A necessary lesser of two evils.  

A way to survive.


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