The Tale of Squeve Squevenson
By 965koit on August 19, 2019
One day I was walking by the window in our kitchen when my eyes locked with two tiny squirrel eyes. Sitting there on our back deck was a ragged, light brown squirrel with a tail that looked like it had seen better days. It wasn’t fluffy like other squirrels; instead, it looked like an old used wire brush that was barely holding itself together. As I approached the window to take a closer look, the squirrel began to approach the window as well.
Then, before I could react, he stood on his back feet and put his front hands together as if he was praying for me to help him. Obviously I was shocked, to say the least, at what I was witnessing but then I remembered I had just purchased a bag of unsalted peanuts. Kristen was going to make friends with the crows in our neighborhood with the peanuts, but it never worked out.
I looked at the squirrel and said “One sec bud, I got you” and made my way to the kitchen cabinet. Grabbing a handful of peanuts, I opened the door to the back patio and tossed out a few onto the deck. The squirrel quickly ran over and started eating. He would pick up one peanut and run to the corner of the patio and consume it, then return for another and another repeating this process until they were all gone.
Fascinated, I sat there and watched him the whole time he ate. There was no way I was going to let him leave without finding out what was going on. Finally, in my best squirrel accent, I asked him about his life and what led him to my window. Immediately he let out a long sigh and sat down on the deck. He seemed relieved to talk to someone about the chaos of the last few days. He said his name is Squeve Squevenson and that he recently lost his brother Irrl (pronounced Earl) to a turkey vulture. Squeve and his brother did everything together from the moment they were born (which I found out later was about three weeks before we met) and that he was a little lost without his guidance.
Irrl was his older brother and would protect him from the other squirrels in the neighborhood. Squeve was picked on by the other squirrels due to his practically bald tail. Apparently, in squirrel culture, the bigger and bushier the tale, the stronger and sexier you are perceived. His brother Irrl was born blessed with a big beautiful brown and black tail that would make the lady squirrels swoon, but Squeve wasn’t so lucky. He had always had a tiny and thin tail that he kept curled underneath him so no one could see. Now that his brother was gone, Squeve was on his own against the others. Instead of facing them every day and being picked on, he decided to run away from home.
For three days and three nights, Squeve ducked under bushes and crossed dangerous roads to get to the ocean. Irrl had always talked about living a new life by the water where the squirrels didn’t have to hide in trees. They could live their lives under rocks with the sound of the waves crashing outside their door. They would spend long nights dreaming about the taste of fresh mussels and the feel of the salty breeze in their fur. Squeve was determined to make that dream a reality no matter what it took. Then one day he made it. As he stood there on the warm rock gazing out over the blue water, he couldn’t help but cry. Irrl would be so proud of him and all that he had accomplished. Over the next few days, he realized that getting mussels and a place to live was harder than he thought.
There were hundreds of seagulls and cranes and geese that spent their days eating everything in sight. Every time he would find something that he could eat something would come along and take it from him. He would go to bed hungry every night listening to the sounds of his stomach growling. Irrl hadn’t told him about the seagulls but how could he have known without ever actually seeing it. Then he finally got a lucky break. From the sky, a crow dropped a seashell that landed right in front of Squeve. He couldn’t believe his luck. He quickly grabbed it and began to try and open it. Using all the strength he had left in his tiny squirrel muscles, he pulled and pulled, but the shell wouldn’t budge. He decided to try a different approach and took it over to a nearby rock to try bashing it. Slam after slam against the stone proved to be useless until he summoned all his will and slammed the shell down as hard as he could.
Exhausted, he saw that the shell had finally cracked open, revealing the goodness inside. He was so excited and relieved that he didn’t even notice the crow standing behind him. “SQUAWK” the crow called at the top of his lungs. It was so loud Squeve dropped the shell in terror and covered his tiny ears. Before he could open his eyes, the crow had taken the shell and flown away, laughing as he did.
That was the last straw for Squeve…he was done with this life. He was going home, back to his old life where at least he knew the lay of the land. That’s when he crawled into my backyard and saw me in the window. He was so desperate for food that he was even willing to try begging a human (no offense) for help. He was surprised to see that I was willing to help despite all the things that Irrl had told him about humans.
He finished the final peanut I gave him, stood up, took a deep breath, and softly whispered, “maybe it’s not so bad here.” He locked eyes with me, gave me a nod as if to say “thanks man” and jumped on the fence and ran away.
Every day I put out a few peanuts for Squeve just in case he ever needs a little food. Some days he comes, and some days he doesn’t. But when he does, I’m sure to wave hello and give a slight nod as if to say “Go get em Squeve.”
Based on a true story. Some things were dramatized for entertainment purposes.