The squirrel in the picture above is an old timer in my yard I call Kiri. He broke his tail last week and he can’t sit up for more than a minute before he just falls over. So he spends a lot of time on his side eating a peanut or a piece of bread. He is getting a lot better, and from what I read his tail will break off soon which is a natural thing. But it made me remember this funny story.
Eighteen years ago yesterday, I remember the death of a favourite black squirrel who chose to pass away in our yard. My son Perry insisted this squirrel needed a proper burial. His grandfather, Nono, sensing bacteria, and maybe a future tetanus shot, suggested that instead of a funeral procession, it might be better to bury him. So Perry and Nono buried the squirrel and fashioned a makeshift cross for his grave. Nono made the sign of the cross and considered the whole episode a done deal. One hour later he saw Perry trying to avoid him; carrying a small box.
It couldn’t be.
But it was.
There lying in the bottom of the box was the deceased black squirrel. Perry had waited until his grandfather busied himself with something else and had dug him up. Nono firmly took the box away from him and told him to go into the house. When all was clear he buried the dead squirrel once again, and this time there was no grave marker. That should take care of it he thought.
What he did not know was that Perry was watching him carefully through the window, and knew exactly where his grandfather had laid the squirrel to rest for the second time. Apparently, he had already figured out his next move. It was a move that would baffle the mind for years to come. Perry used to carry a backgammon case around everywhere with him. He put all his treasures in there, and literally took it to bed with him at night.
That night when his Father and I got home from work we were never advised of the day’s proceedings. Perry and his brother were outside playing, and we settled in to have a quiet meal. As we took our first bite, Perry came into the kitchen with a smile from ear to ear.
“I have something to show you Mum”, he said.
I grinned, and encouraged him to show us the treasures he had in his backgammon case. He began to laugh like he had a million bucks in there, and flung open the backgammon case and screamed,
All we needed to see was the hint of black fur, and we both screamed in horror. There lying inside the case was the very dead, now getting a little smelly, black squirrel. His father immediately grabbed his dinner plate and ran out of the room in horror. It was almost like he sensed that Perry might serve him up for dinner. His grandfather came running in, and quickly took everything away from him. The case was then emptied into a box, and then loaded up in the pick up truck . It was then buried so many miles away Perry would have had to rent a tracking dog to find it.
To this day, this is one of Perry’s favourite stories to tell. He now has replaced the backgammon case with fast cars, construction machinery, and a wife. No word yet whether his daughter Sophia will take up her father’s hobbies.