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Suburban Island

Some Tales Don't Have a Happy Ending
Tuesday, Sept. 02, 2003, 9:25 p.m.

QUESTION: How did we miss that one?

WHAT I LEARNED: Pay attention to those intuitions.

Sad news. Those 2 sweet baby squirrels that fell out of the tree by our house were not alone. The day after my son and I delivered the orphaned babies to a kind lady who took care of suddenly motherless squirrels, my kid dragged me back outside to show me a third little baby squirrel lying at the curb – quite dead. It was a good distance away from where we found the first two babies but still we still felt really bad about this because each of us had separately walked around the tree looking for any other babies the night we found the first two.

My husband said maybe this little one fell out a bit after the first two. I guess that’s totally possible and it did make me feel better when he said that to me. I hope so because I would hate to think we missed the little creature as we raced off to the squirrel rehabilitator with its siblings nestled safe and warm in a towel-lined shoebox balanced carefully on my kid’s lap.

Missing this one really took the shine off our animal rescue halos – such as they were.

We decided to bury the little gray squirrel in the backyard where it is green and pleasant. My son reminded me that someone had to say a prayer over it and I do believe that is a nice idea. We have said prayers over a number of critters over they years - even knocking out a last few words for the repose of deceased fish as they were flushed down the porcelain convenience to a final fishy resting place. Over the years, we have also had impressive burial services in our backyard for a couple of hamsters, a goldfish as large as a softball, and a number of koi.

The odd thing about this particular situation is that as we were pulling out with the baby squirrels the night before, I really had a feeling that we should go back and look around one more time. But we were so sure that we had all the falling squirrels safe in the shoebox and we wanted to get the ones we had to the squirrel rehabilitator quickly since we knew that one of the squirrels was hurt in the fall that we just zoomed off.

I can’t help but think that the inkling I had to take that final look was really an inspiration from someone’s guardian angel – maybe mine, maybe my son’s, maybe the squirrel’s – you never know. But I do know this – next time I get the sense that I ought to do something, I am going to follow through on it because it just might be a little dose of heavenly guidance.

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