Autobiography of a dead Squirrel


Squeak. Squeak.

Ah! Don’t be so surprised to hear this sound. It’s only me, the squirrel. Yes, a little down here, right in front of you. Don’t move too fast lest you want to scare me. But even if you want to, it is tough to run away as I have become old. My home is right up there, up in this large trunk tree behind me. It is winter time and gets quite lonely without any company. I just came down to search for some food which is hard to come by nowadays. The family that used to stay in this home right besides the tree has left – left for bad, yeah bad because since then I have never been stomach full of nuts, bread and biscuits. An old lady was the last of the family who…wait…haven't seen you earlier here. What brought you here? Are you from around? Please tell me you are going to stay in this home now on and will feed me! Do you have any stuff in your pockets for me? Maybe you can't understand a thing of what I am saying.

Yes, so I was saying that an old lady was the last of the family members who lived here. They took her away couple of months ago in a white colored bus with a red colored cross on it. It made a strange whistling sound. Don’t know why she was taken away. She was the one who used to feed me three times a day – regularly! In the morning it was always milk and biscuits in the white colored saucepan there..there…right besides the window…oh! Can’t you see it? Your eyesight seems to be weak…unlike that of my old white-haired friend who fed me. She could spot me from quite a distance when I used to fly around the branches to get my daily dose of exercise. You know how important it is to exercise daily, right? You’ve got to do something about that paunch coming out of your pullover. So yes, where was I? Yeah, my afternoon food. Afternoons were for soaked bread. And sometimes she used to keep the ones having grains in them – oh I used to devour them! I miss her. I wonder how she must be keeping without me. Yes, without me. For I was one who used to make her walk around the garden…always in front of her and making sure that no other insects or squirrels distract her. And the evenings were filled with nuts of all varieties and sizes. See, she really understood me well and my needs. Rather, we understood each other quite well.


Squeak. Squeak. Are you there? You don’t seem to react at all. Maybe you don’t understand me. Do you?

There is nobody to understand me in this ocean of emptiness and makes me wonder whether God is even aware of my existence! Though He has been very grateful to provide me the pleasures of this garden and my dear old friend, but of lately he seems to be doing nothing. Is He too busy for me? Or is it because I have grown older? And unattractive? That younger one across the road is always munching on something or the other. Maybe she is attracting Him with her youth.


As the green gives way to brown all around,
My penance - is it not enough to smother my life lovelorn?
Thoughts and winter is all that surround,
Nuts and milk are gone with my feet roughly worn
 


Life is lonely up there. But it wasn’t always like this. I was born deaf and mute. Yes, deaf and mute. Just like you are right now. What’s so surprising – that is how we squirrels are born. We were a lot of them, me, my brothers and sisters. All of them went away in the nearby areas. They do however come sometimes to visit me, but not as often as I would want them to. It was my old friend who tended to both of us here. And she even used to take us in her home during heavy rains. Her home used to be very cozy and warm. Now it is all cold and dusty. How do I know? Oh, please don’t think wrongly of me. There is a tiny hole I have made in the exhaust grill. However that home suffocates me with nothing inside it but little furniture strewn here and there. Few years ago my mother had crossed the road to meet a friend of hers and on her way back through that treacherous road and Buzo, that heartless godforsaken wild cat, caught hold of her and ate her. I saw it all from my nest. He took her in his mouth and ran towards the bushes and disappeared. After that I never saw her. I wish I could somehow take my revenge on Buzo but don’t know how to – he is so big!

There is no point now of conspiring and evil deeds. I have grown old now. I have forgiven my enemies and forgotten my friends. Squeak! Squeak! Let’s not get too emotional here. Talking of good times – my old friend used to take me inside her home and I used to watch this colorful lively box in her drawing room. I remember seeing my own kind in that box. However, they were happy and frolicking inside that box – were they never suffocated? When I saw them for the first time I thought for a moment she was going to put me in the box as well. But she never did. You see, she loved me the most.

But where is love to be found in this winter? The trees have become so dry and lifeless. Grass has withered away and the tap hardly leaks now leaving me with little water for the day. In fact last week on a particular day I was so thirsty that I had to cross the road and go over in the territory of that younger squirrel. Oh, I hate her so much. She thinks she owns the place. Nevertheless, I sneaked into the backyard of that house and quenched my thirst. She was nowhere to be seen. And on my way back, I saw that same mean Buzo - sprawled across the garden and basking in the sunlight. Though I had little time on my hands, I stopped for a moment to give him a good stare. On way back, across that maddening road I almost got run over. Yeah, the incessant rush of the cars is too difficult and too random to predict.

So apart from standing and staring at me are you going to do anything? I won’t mind at all if you are kind enough to give me food for the next few weeks. But only for the next few weeks as winter would have ended by then. My old friend used to hate winters – she could be heard shouting and crying a lot of times. Maybe her aged joints hurt. When they were taking away she was crying like a baby – had to be held and supported till she entered that white bus. She never returned back. Why have people whom I have loved the most never returned back after crossing that road? I myself haven’t crossed that road too often fearing for my own life. Who knows what bad omens haunt life across that road.

The sun has set and it’s getting darker now. Will you be staying back with me for some time? Till the morning? Don’t know how to convince you to come here more often. I can strangely feel myself becoming weaker not just with everyday but right now with every word I speak. Anyways, it’s been long since I have been talking to you and you haven't really responded much. Guess, life is lonely down...down..ahh….oh…squeak...sque...ch..psch…


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