I sat on my front porch overlooking the lake. Geese, ducks, and parents with kids and dogs in tow walking by. I sipped a single malt with a small dish of peanuts at day’s end to mellow out a bit.
Suddenly a young squirrel dashed up the trunk of the white oak next to the porch. He positioned himself prostrate upside down and began screeching at me, bouncing around and seemingly sounding some kind of alarm. He was hysterical and relentless.
My single malt began to kick in, causing me to reflect deeply on shallow things (A really good scotch will do that for you.)
Like why does this little guy seem to hate me so much? We’ve never even met! Am I the first gray-haired white old fat man he’s ever seen? Perhaps in his genetic memory is a remnant of alarm that creatures like me used to eat creatures like him. I admit that my late Uncle Clarence took me squirrel hunting as a kid to teach me how to shoot a .22 rifle. He mentioned squirrel stew as a possible reward, but alas I wasn’t a very good shot at the time. But I can see how this little guy could have a blanket opinion of me that goes way back in history based on many experiences.
As I sank further into that scotch, I was reminded that my blanket view of him was as a rodent that will move his family into my attic and set up shop, damaging my soffits and eating my wires. His kind has been known to catch houses on fire. Maybe I should call the pest control vendor I use to seek out and destroy the squirrel’s whole family.
Yet I felt no ill will for this fellow. He just seemed like he was doing some kind of duty at a young age. I found myself wishing I could entice him to the table and offer a couple of peanuts to see if we could somehow establish rapport. Maybe he’d be an interesting little companion in late afternoon moments. Maybe we could learn something about each other through a new language we’d discover. I’d keep him supplied with peanuts as a reward just for the companionship.
Maybe we’d learn that not all creatures like me are predators, and maybe not all creatures like him are dangerous pests…
Maybe we could just be companions. Naaaah. Maybe just the scotch talking? Or am I having an Uncle Remus type experience?… well, maybe… We’ll see if it happens again. I DO know that if we maintain the same view of each other, nothing new can happen in the relationship.
Hmmmm…That’s a deeper scotch dive than I had anticipated.