Day In The Life
By Gary Graysquirrel
Hey there, my name is Gary and I’m a 16 year old gray squirrel. Well in squirrel years anyway, to you its more like four times of watching me desperately hiding acorns only to forget where I put them when it warms up again. So at 16 I still live at home with my Mom and Dad, eight brothers and three sisters. I’m writing this day in the life story because this is Road Kill awareness week. In an effort to make you humans more aware of us squirrels because we are the motorcycle riders of your highways, people often don’t see us until its too late. So this is a typical day for me, starting from the rude wake up call out of our treehouse by the pesky woodpecker.
“Mom, make him stop, he’s giving me a headache!” POP POP POPPITY POP POP. “Relax Gary, its time to get up anyway, you shouldn‘t have been up all night running on the telephone wires.” “Oh Ma, all the other squirrels play there. Hey Pops, can I borrow a few acorns?” “Now how are you going to learn anything if I just give them to you? Acorns don’t grow in banks ya know! Take your brothers out and grab a bunch for all of us.” But Daaaaad, I hate taking them along, its dangerous enough going to the lane without having to worry about my younger brothers.” “Just do as I say son, someday when you have squirrels of your own you’ll understand.” So that’s a pretty typical start to my day, the annoying rat-a-tat-tat from the damn birds reminding me that there are no loner any worms available because they were out at the crack of dawn for the early bird specials. But fuck it we don’t care, we prefer these future oak trees anyways, my whole family is vegan. But being the oldest boy I have to take the other males out and teach them how to avoid your speeding cars to acquire our bounty.
For the most part we are all indecisive. Well not so much indecisive as….well yea indecisive describes it really well. Maybe not really well, maybe only sort of pretty well and…..well we change our little tiny minds a lot, it’s a lot of world for our miniscule brains to process. That’s why when you guys come barreling around those corners an catch us crossing in the middle we seem to dart back and forth in a random pattern. Well that and sometimes we just like to fuck with you. What happens is our little brains think back to a time when one of your rolling metal murder machines left a friend or family member squished on the road and we either get pissed or we panic. I don’t want to get all squirrel politics on you but you are our number one threat. I mean wolves, foxes, snakes, hawks, and even those bandito raccoons try to make us dinner but at least they give us a chance to run away. And even when they do kill us they don’t leave our bodies lying on the roadside stripped of any dignity whatsoever. But like I said, no politics, I just want you to know how hard it is to be a squirrel.
Us squirrels enjoy many of the things you guys do. I mean I have a girlfriend and my main focus in the day is to score a bunch of acorns and then go over to Sally and do what comes natural, if you catch my drift. A little squirrely booty call is a great motivator because we make love the way we run, fast, furious and for great lengths of time. So when we head out to get our freaking acorns we have something to look forwards to. Today I have four of my little brothers, the other four are too young to go nut hunting. “Hey Gary, can you teach us how to play chicken again?” Kids these days, always looking for kicks. They ask about every time to learn to play chicken so today I decided it was a good day for some lessons. “Okay guys, lets go down the lane where it’s a bit more clear. You guys go up on that grassy knoll there an watch as I cross street.” I positioned them so they could watch and learn away from the danger of auto ass-crushiation. “Okay first thing is always know your opponent. See that big rolling thing own there? That’s a Volkswagen beetle complete with peace sign so its most likely a hippie. I can just go straight because the hippies always stop.” As they looked on I just ran straight across the road and the car slammed on its brakes. That’s when I scrambled but just for effect, it always get the young ones laughing. “Okay, here comes a fast one. I’m gonna play the pick an roll with this one. I run right in front of it, stop short then turn around running back as soon as the first tire passes me. Gets them every time.” I performed it textbook style, forcing the speeding car to veer off a bit and most likely check its rear view to see if it got me. It was pretty close though, “this time I do the stop, stutter, and go. Here comes a big Cadillac, probably one of the real old humans the way he’s driving.” As the caddy pulled up I ran in front of it, stopped and gave a head fake like I was going back, then peeled as across the street. The kids were rolling in laughter because they saw the look of confused terror on the driver. “That’s enough for today guys, come on across the street and lets get some acorns now.”
I waited for all four of them as they came across without any traffic coming until Chet, the youngest and most brazen made his attempt. Trying to show off he waited until he saw something coming, a pick up truck in super sonic mode. “Chet, NO!!” Too late, he ran out yelling, “The stop and stutter.” Of all the moves he tries to make the hardest one first and on a pick up no less. Pick ups don’t care about us at all and some of them actually try to run us over on purpose. To make matters even worse coming the other way was a young kid in the Beamer his parents bought him for graduation. Great! A kid in a car who has no sense of car ownership or road rules but a sense of entitlement. Chet ran out doing the stop and stutter pretty good but panicked starting to run in circles from car to truck. The pick up drove directly at him but the Beamer kid was totally unaware, probably texting or instagramming or something, and clipped the back of the pick up as it ran over Chets tail. “Ouch, fucking goddamit he got my tail Gary! He got my tail!” I ran out and pulled him to the other side as the humans got out yelling and blaming each other. “Just be glad its just your tail you idiot. What were you thinking? Moms gonna fucking kill me man, how my gonna explain this?” Chet was in pain but it was just a crushed tail. This Time!!
We went about collecting more acorns in reletive silence, me angry and the others upset. Hopefully this little incident will scare them straight. As the day wore on the anger subsided so I remarked, “I thought that mean truck dude was gonna crush the kid in the beamers tail too!” One of the kids said, “You shoulda seen the look on that kids face, like we took away his nuts.” We began to laugh at the humans for acting like idiots after getting in an accident, but the truth is it seldom works out this way. All too often one or more of us never return home because there are people who will run us over without a second thought to our families or girlfriends back at home. So next time you see one of us, whether we’re playing chicken or really panicked, try to avoid running us over. Drive carefully, the squirrels life you save my be my own…..Peace