Monday, May 10, 2010

THE SQUIRREL- an observation

 This morning, while driving to work, I saw something that caused my heart to constrict and brought my mind to full focus on what was before my eyes.  I was in my truck following behind an old silver haired lady traveling about thirty miles per hour down a side road in Greenback, my town.  I saw a movement ahead of her car near the center line of the road.  It was a gray squirrel.  That in itself is not unusual but, this squirrel was backing himself toward the left edge of the road while pulling a fallen mate.  He pulled with all his might slowly tugging her toward the edge.  As the old lady’s car approached him he dropped his burden and scurried off the edge of the road.  I slowed down.  The old lady’s car passed by and he scampered back out and grabbed his mate by the nape of the neck and returned to his task of pulling her off the road.  I slowed down until I was nearly stopped.  My camera was locked in the cap of the truck and useless.   Two vehicles approached me from behind but I would not move until I had witnessed the outcome of the little guy’s  efforts as he tugged and pulled at his fallen friend.  When nearly across to safety, he moved around behind  and beside her and grabbed her by the back of the neck and actually lifted the front part of her off the road and attempted to run with her in his mouth.  This tactic succeeded and he disappeared into the tall weeds at the edge of the road. 
I have heard that animals do not have feelings.  I’ve been told that they work on instincts alone.  There  are  photographic  documentations of dogs pulling their mates across roads after being hit by cars.   There is on such video on the Internet that can be found on the  U Tube site.  There are even pictures of a song bird sitting patiently beside his mate after she flew into a car.  He waits and chirps constantly, occasionally pushing and prodding her with his beak to encourage her to fly away with him.  Finally, in desperation, he realizes he has lost her and must fly away and leave her behind.
Wildlife is amazing and does not receive the respect that it should.   Animals do have feelings and they do work in harmony with nature.  I observe their actions daily.  It’s what I do.  I am amazed at the disrespect they receive from the supposedly highly educated human species.   Sometimes the disregard is unbelievable.  When on a motorcycle ride with a friend one evening, parked along a country road discussing the day, a turkey emerged from the woods and ran, afraid, away from us along the road.  Behind her were many baby chicks.  My friend stated, “Wish I had my gun.”  I didn’t say a word.
Please be good stewards for our wildlife.  We have the power to assist or to destroy them.  While driving, slow down for them and allow them the right of way.  Their ancient brains can not comprehend the speed of our cars.  They are in the palms of our hands.  We can close our hand tightly around them in a clenched fist or we can lift them skyward to freedom and safety.