A baby squirrel runs the length of the fence, watching us from the outside. Small but not a newborn, his legs are already strong and defined. But he looks scared.
We get him some nuts and dog food and flax seed, and place a tiny squirrel-sized glass bowl with water outside. Instead of exploring the easy winnings, he follows us back to the front of the house. He bounces behind my boyfriend, like a dog, or a Disney movie, or someone who just needs to be with someone else so he isn’t alone.
Scampering up the wood pile, he clings to a tree. Squeal squeal squeaaaaalll. Silence. He listens, but doesn’t hear anything. He shivers. Then, as we sit on the stoop not wanting to leave him alone, another squirrel the same age leaps into the frame across the lawn. They briefly misconnect running the wrong way around the tree, but eventually spot each other. The first squirrel lays his body on the other.
Primal emotions – fear, loneliness, relief – connect us all.