Dear Squirrel, After witnessing your partly unsuccessful suicide attempt from the vantage point of the car behind the one you’d chosen, I had to make a quick decision, and I decided that the best course of action was to kill you as quickly as possible. It was a difficult decision, and I hope it was to your liking. After the minivan adorned so ornately with JESUS IS LORD READ THE BIBLE stickers plowed you down but not out, I pulled up close alongside you, leaned out the window, peered down at the convulsing agony of your broken but still respirating body, said, “Oh, Jesus, fuck, no,” then backed up, aimed, lurched forward and crushed you. Sorry, but it was either that or drive you to the vet’s and put $1,000 on my credit card for someone to attempt but fail to save your life. After I flattened you, I inspected the damage, said, “Sorry” and “Poor li’l fucker” and fought back tears because I had to drive. Squirrel, did you ever see Michael Mann’s adaptation of Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans? Our encounter was just like that, but without such exquisite use of sound. A few minutes later, at home, I spilled my guts to my cat, Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson. He’s generally a sweet, cuddly-style kitty, but not when it comes to twittery rodents. “Put me the fuck down and stop yer whining, y’pussy,” he told me. “Do you know what I’d give to kill a squirrel right now? Fucking hell.” That inspired me to take a stab at a commemorative poem: Squirrel who left my tire red Who lay so peacef’ly flat and dead When I came home and told my cat He sighed and then confided that “I quite regret” (he sighed, and said) “I wasn’t there to chomp its head “And drag its body here and there “And wolf it down for Lenten fare.” My cat’s not so polite, you see, As those with cars, who drive, like me. I assure you that, eventually, The rest of us, sequentially, Will also flatten, boil or fry Or otherwise be helped to die By stingy, selfish, murd’rous fucks Who won’t cough up a thousand bucks. You’re welcome. Now, squirrel, I understand how it might seem ridiculous for me to be writing you poetry — or for that matter, this letter — but the prescient conversation I had just prior to killing you leaves me little choice. You see, I’ve been teaching Intermediate Reincarnation again this semester at the Eugene Henderson Institute of Theological Studies, and it was as I was returning home from this class that you and I made our first and last acquaintance. My students and I had been discussing the reincarnation of edible Christian resurrectional artifacts, especially chocolate crucifixes, such as those available in large chain supermarkets now through Easter weekend for $1.79, then 50 percent off thereafter. Through a series of tangents I’ll spare you here, the class came to speculate as to what one might wish to be reincarnated as, after having been executed, if one were a deity who, for whatever reason, wished to return to a world where millions of people not only worshipped at the altar of one’s execution but ate chocolate replicas of the same. “A squirrel,” said young Gregory Chow, a very bright student (he wears glasses). “That’s stupid,” said Lydia Collins (who does not). So I said, as any good instructor would, “Good, Greg. Good, Lydia. Okay. Why?” To which Chow (who I suspect is a bit more paranoid than most) replied, “You could do surveillance work. You know, go up a tree, spy on people.” “That’s just stupid,” said Collins. “Why does everyone have to be so stupid?” “Okay,” said I. “Anyone else?” (There are 77 other students in the class.) “Also,” Chow continued (he’s a good kid, really, squirrel; very enthusiastic, and a hell of a basketball player), “squirrels don’t live very long, and they die anonymously. If you’d had so many people paying attention to you in your last life, you might want your next life to be more anonymous. Short and sweet.” “Shut up!” said Collins. “Jesus Christ!” “Good,” said I. “Anyone else?” “Plus,” Chow went on, “if you came back as a squirrel around here, you’d probably get run over by a car. And then after you returned, everyone would go to churches with big bloody automobile tires hanging over the altar.” “God!” said Lydia Collins, and she stood and left. And the bell rang. And the rest of us left, Gregory Chow and his friends to the basketball courts, others to various fast-food emporiums and I to drive home and kill you. Now, squirrel, you must admit that it was a curious conversation to have taken place less than an hour before I killed you. (And so many weeks before Easter.) So please: If on some future occasion we’re presented with the same unfortunate circumstances but with our roles reversed — perhaps I’ll be reincarnated as a Melrose Avenue cockroach, and you’ll be a teenage hipster in steel-toed Doc Martens — I’m sure you’ll show me the same courtesy by finishing me off as quickly as you know how. So sorry, squirrel, that you expired By means of an approaching tire. Here’s hoping that you’ll rise to save Us all from evil fates. Love, Dave.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >