Since January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day, here is a repost of a poem…however, first the Building Blocks ‘you what’ introduction:
And then there was the time I got bit by a wild gray squirrel. Note I said ‘wild’; a few years later we would have a pet flying squirrel, Squeaky, who never bit anyone.
It was during second grade recess and the squirrel was on the ground, I thought, just resting. So, being raised around all kinds of pet animals (as I grew up around dog shows and the family pet shop), I was petting it. Unfortunately other kids came over, and I guess they scared the squirrel…I got bit at the top of the area between my thumb and index finger. I bled something fierce (the squirrel hit a vein), the teachers were literally in shock, they called my six grade brother, who had them take me to the hospital, where I met my Mom.
The bleeding was stopped. Then the doctor, with a very serious face, told my Mom the squirrel had died…my Mom had a serious, concerned face…I yelled “Wow, I killed the squirrel”…they looked at me with their serious faces…I thought ‘that squirrel bit the wrong kid!’…that’s when my Mom told me that they would have to test the squirrel for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I had no idea what that was, but from their serious faces I knew the squirrel had not been ‘resting’; and I did not want spots the size of the Rocky Mountains. That’s when my Mom told me it was like rabies, which I understood, NEEDLES!, and I had a serious face. Later the city health department said the squirrel was just sick and had no transmittable illnesses.
I did feel bad for the squirrel.
And, I have a nice little scar that always impressed the ladies…”Yah, I got bit by a wild squirrel.”
BTW: Per a Washington Post February 16, 2014 article, being ‘bitten by a squirrel initial encounter’ now has a medical code W53.21XA.
Growing up around all kinds of critters,
sure I have been bitten
by dogs and cats, a pet alligator, and even a
girl who with me was smitten.
But of the critters that
that left a scar,
it was a wild gray squirrel
the oddest of all.
It was resting on the playground that day,
when I approached it moved not,
and me being just six or seven
thought I was in heaven.
It’s fur was soft and not a flea in sight,
and I should mention,
the squirrel seemed to enjoy the attention.
Then other kids did come around,
unlike me they made loud sounds.
They must have frightened my new pet,
cause that squirrel did wake from it’s nap you see
and sharp teeth dug into me.
Blood shot everywhere,
the teachers were in shock,
the hospital I went,
and the poor squirrel, who was sick,
died before three o’clock.
I learned that day
that squirrels rest on the ground not,
I did not need a shot.
(Squirrel Attack, copyright Steven S. Walsky, 2013.)
Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing…
Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.