Squirrely Suicides

I counted three squirrel’s dead bodies on my way to work this morning. The first in the intersection outside my house; the second on the left side of the fast lane on the 101 heading South; the third in the middle of a back-road in Encino. I am writing this to all of you to make you aware of these Squirrely Suicides that have been increasing in frequency over the past few weeks.

All of these unfortunate deaths came to my attention while I was out on my usual week-day morning run with Cali in early May. There we were, trotting along and in the distance in the middle of the street, I saw a squirrel hunched over eating something. It was only seconds later when I saw two cars speeding down the street, quickly closing the distance between car and squirrel. Cali and I were both looking at the squirrel as we got closer, but the cars got there first and before I could shout out to warn the creature that its death was swiftly approaching – the squirrel looked at the car and – SQUISH.

The tail fluttered for a second and then the body lay still.

Both cars drove away, it was an unfortunate hit-and-run.

A lonely tear fell from the corner of my eye.

Cali seemed confused by these events and being the young thing that she is, she does not quite understand death so she was pulling on her leash to go chase the squirrel that was now lying dead. I tried to explain, but to no avail.

As we passed by the carcass then crossed the street and started back towards the house, we had to pass the dead squirrel again. And as we approached in slow motion, the sister squirrel of the recently deceased was on the sidewalk, right in front of us, staring at the lifeless body with her mouth wide open in shock. She did not see us coming and I did not see her until Cali was within inches of stepping on her tail. She scurried away from the carcass in the street and up a tree.

Cali thought this was all a game, but I could see the scene for what it really was–an animal mourning the loss of its kin.

The very next morning on the very same run, we got closer and closer to the scene of the crime and low and behold, the squirrel’s carcass was no where to be seen. There was also no sign of a hit and no blood or bodily fluids. Then as we continued on down the sidewalk, I heard an incessant “Deh! Deh! Deh!” coming from a tree branch at my eye level. It was what I believe to be the same sister squirrel from the day before, calling out to me. She was clearly emotionally distraught about the death of her kin and I think she was telling me that she dragged the body out of the street, out of respect.

Thinking back on the hit-and-run, the way the squirrel looked right at the cars barreling down on him, I have a feeling he wanted to die. Maybe his life insurance policy would provide for his sister for the rest of her life if he was the victim of accidental death? Or maybe it was one of many Squirrely Suicides disguised as accidental death. We will never know.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 at 10:09 am and is filed under Cali, Miscellaneous. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Squirrely Suicides”

  1. Lisa Kennard says:

    Great first-account reporting. What newspaper do you write for? I think they should give you a raise. You know, Superman disguised himself as a foot-in-mouth reporter and unbeknownst to the world at large, he was a SUPERHERO! You, Nicki, are my superhero.

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