Tuesday, June 28, 2011
SQUIRRELS WITH DIRTY MOUTHS
I just tossed an apple core in a trash can at the pool and the trash rustled and a squirrel hopped onto the edge and glared at me. The fur around its mouth was darker, matted, and wet. It was like a wino squirrel. I was relieved when it wandered away. A few minutes later I was sitting in a beach chair in the shade and reading when the tree above me shook and a squirrel fell to the ground, far more clumsily than squirrels usually descend from trees. It looked at me angrily. Its mouth looked dark, wet, and strange. Then it ran away. I wondered if it might be the same squirrel, but I was pretty sure this one had a stringier tail. Then from the bushes I heard some of them barking at each other hysterically. I started to be worried that they all had some disease. I put my book away pretty soon and left. On my way out, I heard a shuddering in the bushes beside the path and saw one of them hunched there, eating what looked like half a Fig Newton caked in dirt. Its slimy mouth was coated with crumbs and it just kept munching as I walked by. It didn't fear me at all.