Yesterday evening after finishing dinner, I stood up and looked out my dining room window. Along the edge of our property there was a man kneeling and digging with hand tools near a large tree. I was curious1. Why was this man digging? He continued for several minutes and was digging along the roots in a narrow shallow approach. Then after a few minutes he stopped, and stood up and walked away. Did he see me? I was staring out my window awkwardly because, well, I’m naturally awkward. He walked along the path surrounding nearby houses behind a bush. But he did not emerge on the other side of the bush. At this moment I pondered: Did he see me, and is he hiding? Was he up to no good? Why is he just digging near a tree?
He came back from behind the bush approaching the hole he had dug. Between the two hand tools lay a stiff squirrel. Instantly my thoughts shuffled and reorganized. The man laid the squirrel in the resting spot. He then gently covered the grave with soil for a few minutes, stood up, stepped over it to compress the loose soil. Then he knelt again scrounging for something. He found two small sticks and fashioned cross. He stood once more, said something, crossed his heart, and walked away.
In those final moments, I became emotional over that squirrel. Was it the same squirrel that frequented our deck? That man took the time to give that small creature some dignity and respect to the natural world.
- I’m very protective of the trees near our house and property because the area used be very wooded before we moved in and they cut down a bunch of older trees. I like trees. ↩