Sunday, May 24, 2009

When you can't go home again

Not so long ago on a beautiful spring morning my husband came in and announced that a squirrel had just been sitting on his shoe up at the mailbox. Now there's something you don't hear every day. He grabbed Mason to go out and recreate the scene. I was skeptical. Once maybe, but twice? I stayed inside.

Imagine my surprise when moments later I look out the front window and Ryan is walking down the driveway with Mason in one arm and a squirrel firmly attached to his pant leg.

I ventured outside. "It's a baby," my husband informed me, "Do you want a pet squirrel?" Um, no. "I couldn't leave him up by the road. I'm afraid he'd get hit by a car." My husband is very sweet like that. Let me add that Mason was really enjoying all of this. By now the squirrel had inched a little further up Ryan's leg. I headed inside for a camera.

I took a picture or two. Then the sweet thing looked at me with his beady little squirrely eyes, crept down Ryan's leg and onto the lawn. That's when he made his way toward me. And because I'm a nurturing mother and all, I did what I imagine most mothers (tell me I'm not wrong here) would do. I high-tailed it out of there. Screaming. Like a little girl. I jumped two stairs onto the deck and closed the gate as quick as I could. In my defense, that squirrel charged. Full force. I may have misled you with the whole, "he made his way toward me" line. It was much more aggressive than that.

I was freaking out. While he may have been a cute little baby squirrel, a rodent is still a rodent. Right? Then Ryan said things like, "I don't think he has mother" and "he's probably starving." So I went inside to look for sunflower seeds. (I saw a squirrel eating from a sunflower once.) I couldn't find any so I grabbed the next best thing, saltine crackers. I handed one to Ryan and he held it out for the squirrel, who in turn actually jumped off the ground trying to get the cracker. But then he didn't know what to do with it. I went back inside and filled a lid with milk. I'm not completely heartless. And we set it out for the squirrel. Then there was more charging, and running, and screaming.

Not long after that I needed to run some errands. With a baby in each arm I carefully made my way to the van. The squirrel appeared at my feet out of nowhere. I ran to the other side (screaming) and threw Mason in, jumped in myself and slammed the door lest the squirrel hopped in too and we had a National Lampoon's vacation situation on our hands. The only problem now was that I had a few more things to grab from the house. My heart was literally pounding. I gathered my courage and flew inside. Then I made Ryan walk me back to the car. Only because I didn't want to smash the squirrel as I backed out of there. (I wasn't scared or anything.) The squirrel made himself comfortable on my hubby's shoe. That's when I heard laughter. I hadn't noticed my neighbor outside washing his car, witnessing the entire scene. How chivalrous of him. Good to know who you can count on, or not, in dire circumstances.
As I buckled Mason into his seat I could tell he was a little worried. I didn't want to pass my fear onto my son. So I told him he didn't need to be afraid of the squirrel, Mama was just a dork. That little guy looked at me and very endearingly said, "I'm afraid of that squirrel, Mom. I'm a dork too!" Have I ever told you how much I love that boy?
At last we were all squared away, the squirrel was safe and sound at Ryan's feet and I was able to get out of the driveway. It took a long time for me to calm down. And all I thought about as I washed and vacuumed the van, bought groceries, and stopped at the bank was how in the world am I ever going to go home again. Will Ryan have to walk me to and from the car? Will I ever let my children play outside?

It turns out I needn't have worried. That squirrel was never to be seen again. The story goes that the baby squirrel found his mama and they moved into a nice tree at the park two blocks over. (The sad fact is that he most likely starved to death. At least he didn't get hit by a car.)
And just so you know I did not make this up ...

13 comments:

katie said...

That is the Greatest story EVER! The pics are great too!

Melissa said...

That is such a cute/funny/scary story! I totally would've been screaming. You'll have to ask Kristin Curriden about the squirrel baby that they nursed back to health.

janet said...

I would like to say "a pet squirrel would have been such a nice addition to your family" but truth be told A RODENT IS DEFINITLY A RODENT. Kate Curly park was always crawling with those things and made it quite scarey to picnic there...jonathan in particular would freak....dork huh???
mason is a hoot!

Carmen said...

Oh my goodness Dest! How wild and crazy was that?!
I would have been running and screaming too. :)
And I can't believe that baby squirrel "attached" himself to Ryan like that...he must have been starving! B/C squirrels are friendly in the least, (from what I've heard). Great story to tell over and over! ;)

Carmen said...

That should have been
*not friendly in the least*

Gallup Family said...

I love the pics! I have to say that I would love to have a squirrel do that here. We are trying to attract some sort of wild creatures to our backyard currently...other than wasps! I put up a hummingbird feeder, maybe we should put out some seeds for squirrels :)

Jenny or sometimes Bozo said...

That is hilarious. I had my doubts that it was real, but pictures don's lie.

Beckii said...

What the . . . ???!!

Lew said...

Oh. my. gosh!!! That is crazy! Those pictures are awesome. I definitely would have been screaming my head off. Can't wait to catch up!!

Kneisly Family said...

Haha....I loved this story!!!. That's great that you were able to get some pictures.

andrea said...

Too funny. Thanks for sharing the drama. I totally would've been screaming, too.

Anica said...

I loved this story and all the details you put into the post-even a reference to National Lampoons! I am still laughing!!

Heather said...

That is so funny. It is hard to believe that a squirrel would do that. I would probably be like you and scream my head off if it ran at me like that.