Last night, I saw something. Something so chilling it will likely haunt my dreams for weeks to come. I hesitate to even write about it for fear of reliving the unpleasantness. But, as a faithful blogger, I feel obligated to tell my harrowing tale.
I was taking the trash out, so I walked over to the side of the house to retrieve the garbage cans. I found that most had already been put out in front of the house, but there were a couple left, so I wanted to make sure there weren’t any garbage bags in any of them. I went over to one of them and gave the rim a tug to see if it felt heavy. It did. I looked into the can and, instead of trash bags, there was about a foot and a half of rainwater in the can…with a dead squirrel floating inside it.
I leapt away from the can and high-tailed it out of there as fast as I could. At present, I have no idea if it’s still there or not, although my gut tells me it probably is. This episode irked me in more ways than one. First, there is the obvious public health issue. I don’t like the idea of that thing rotting away in that dirty water. But, I wasn’t about to just put the can on the curb with all the others, because it wouldn’t be fair to the garbage man to get doused with dead squirrel water. So, I don’t know how this situation is going to sort itself out, because I for one am not going near the can again. Hopefully one of the other neighbors will rise to the occasion and dispose of the corpse.
Now, beyond this issue, I also have loads of other concerns. First, what is the true explanation for the squirrel’s death? Suicide? Was life becoming too much to bear for this one? If I interviewed the other squirrels around our yard, would they say that he was the quiet one who always kept to himself? Could this have all been avoided if someone had just reached out to him?
Or, maybe it wasn’t suicide. Maybe it was just an accident. Perhaps he was jumping from tree to tree, accidentally fell into the can, and was unable to escape. It pains me to think of his last minutes of life. He was probably really scared and could have been thinking, “Oh, if I had only jumped into a different tree, none of this would be happening.” Did his life flash before his eyes? Did he have a family that he was worried about?
Or, the scariest possibility of all: what if it was murder? I hesitate to think foul play was involved, but I suppose anything is possible. Maybe he was in over his head with the squirrel mafia and wasn’t able to pay off his gambling debts in time. Unfortunately, I did not look at the corpse long enough to determine if he had little cinder blocks tied to his feet. If the mob had nothing to do with it, maybe it was just a fellow squirrel. Maybe the two of them had gotten into a skirmish over a woman (female squirrel, as it were), or nuts or something, and things got out of hand. If this is the case, I hope that rogue squirrel is brought to justice.
I am so perplexed by the endless questions posed by the body on the side of my house. I have half a mind to go outside and do some gumshoeing, maybe call the local M.E. for a postmortem…but that woud all involve getting near that garbage can which, unfortuntately, I refuse to do.
Rest in peace, little squirrel.