One of my favorite things about my job is working downtown. The warmer weather these past few months has made it extra great, because I can sit outside and read during my lunch break. I have lots of favorite spots to sit – pretty much based on what my priorities are: doze off in the middle of a crowded place? people-watch? sit by the river? All viable options.
A few weeks ago I went to my favorite reading spot.
After a couple of minutes, I glanced up from my book and I realized that there was a squirrel sitting at my feet staring at me.
Obviously, I was taken off guard. The squirrel was a bit too close, so I utilized my fool-proof pigeon shooing method: Remain very still and then move suddenly and scare the beep out of them. Did you write that down? It’s fool-proof.
Apparently, this method has little impact on squirrels. It started prowling. Seriously – it was pacing all around me. And I’ve never been this close to a squirrel, because typically they are freaked out of their minds about something, and darting all over the place. But this one was laser-focused. on me. Leaving me to sit and wait for it to pounce. Because once it started prowling, I pretty much abandoned all hope. My pigeon-move was really all I had in my arsenal. And I certainly wasn’t ready to try something really drastic like actually saying the word “SHOO!” so I had to face facts and wait for the worst to happen. And flinch a lot. Cause that’s what you do when you are being sized up by a potentially life-threatening rodent…who is acting strange because they may or may not have rabies…
And then something worse happened.
A lady 10 feet away from me said, “He just wants some bagel.” AKA Someone was watching me be afraid of the squirrel. (Hello humiliation…I knew you were nearby)
I looked down and realized that there was, indeed, a piece of bagel at my feet. So I gestured wildly at it to the squirrel. He came over, sniffed it, and started circling me again. I then realized two things: 1. He didn’t want the bagel… and 2. Lady, are you seriously holding a bagel? and did you actually throw food to that squirrel at MY FEET??! Use your own feet to train wild animals.
Somehow sucked into these crazy mind games…I reached into my bag to find what was left of the granola bar that I had for breakfast. I shook out the empty wrapper and only tiny crumbs came out. You know that expression about crumbs that are ‘too small for a mouse.’ These were those-size crumbs.
At this point I think the squirrel was scowling at me.
Not feeling up to sacrificing the two chocolate chip cookies I had in my bag, I did the only thing I could do. I gathered up my courage and made a break for it.
Thankfully, Rabies-Squirrel went about his crazy bid-ness without me.