We drove down to the river and I parked near a small stone wall. I was about to hop out of the car to my doom when I felt the icy hands of fate tickling my spine. Afraid, I scanned to horizon. Nothing. What could it be, something unsettling, unnatural even?
I felt it clearly then. Her eyes, black as the deepest abyss, were peering into my very soul. A squirrel. I am not convinced that squirrels are a natural phenomenon. I am pretty sure that they are pure evil. Just putting that out there. I know, you are probably aghast at this nature and animal loving vegan having trouble with squirrels. You are just going to have to accept this about me; while I do not hate them, I fear squirrels. Deeply.
Anyway, where were we? Ah yes, I sat in my car frozen by fear. I had the presence of mind to take photos so that in the event of our disappearance it would be clear that this was the culprit...
I was feet away from a fate worse than death. The squirrel wasn't going to move, in fact she seemed to be waiting patiently for something (my demise). The girls were in their car seats and were growing impatient. I knew it was time to act. I contemplated leaving, just driving away. It seemed like the most logical option. I reached over to put the car in drive and I spotted the crackers. Now before I go on let's just put this out there, don't feed wild animals it is a bad idea. Just know that I was desperate. I rolled down my window the minimum amount necessary to shove out a cracker. The squirrel reared up on her unholy haunches and I could see she was pregnant. Horror! I tossed the cracker and she flew at it with lightning speed before teleporting herself into a tree to watch and wait...and eat a cracker.
I burst into action. Running around the car to get my girls out from the car and hustling away from the violent animal.
We managed to have a lovely riverside walk and gathered several new items for the nature table. Then it was time to return to the car. I knew she would be waiting for me. I approached cautiously, protective of my young children. She was nowhere in sight. I scrambled to get the girls safely locked into their car seats and run around to the driver's side, flinging my body into the safety of the car as I heard the telltale scramble of tiny devilish nails, clawing their way up the stone wall. I was afraid to look and yet I had to look. Perhaps it was just to confirm my darkest fear. There she was in front of me. I felt her dark presence enter my mind and whisper in squirrel speak,"give me your last cracker and you shall live." So I tossd the last cracker out the window and floored it. We survived to tell this dark and cautionary tale.