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Heard a snap, then a thump so tremendous I thought the roof had been punctured.

It was a squirrel. A squirrel trusted the wrong branch and landed on our deck. It’s currently lying on the deck, breathing.

God damn it, always with the fucking squirrels

AND ME, BAREFOOT

The squirrel’s name is Clementine, and she is FINE, everyone. She is JUST FINE, don’t worry.

On the other hand, *my* nerves are shot.

…I did not expect squirrelterror on a summer Saturday evening, but here we are.

Okay, so. Clementine trusted the wrong branch. Snap. Then she hurtled earthward and landed on our deck with a sound usually associated with Formula One crashes.

I was busy looking out windows to see if there was anything hanging off the roof when my son called from the dining room. “Uh, Mum? It’s a squirrel…”

“DO NOT OPEN THAT DOOR.” Yes, I barked like a battlefield general.

Clementine the squirrel lay on the deck, and the branch she had so foolishly trusted did too. Clementine’s little squirrel sides were heaving, and…

…I thought it was agonal breathing, and for God’s sake I don’t have room for another roadkill grave in the rose garden and OH MY GOD the poor thing is it in pain?

All this is going on inside my head.

My daughter came out, drawn by the ruckus. The kids began Rapid Discussion, because that’s how we roll here at the Chez.

“Is it okay?” “Still breathing, but…” “I heard they can fall a long way.” “Well, it’s a tall tree.” “Maybe it’s broken.”

“What’ll we do?” “Well, Mom’s thinking, let her think.” “I have shoes on. No, wait, slippers.”

“Hang on,” I said, putting a halt to all planning and logistics. “I am not risking my children under these circumstances.”

“Mum, it’s a SQUIRREL.” “She wrote a whole book, she knows.” “Well, I know, but still, it’s so small. Look at it.” “That doesn’t mean anything. You were small.” “But deadly.” “See?”

“Just GIVE ME A MINUTE,” I pleaded.

Clementine’s sides heaved. Eventually she twitched, and looked around groggily, for all the world like a hungover college student wondering where in the fuck she’s ended up on THIS particular morning.

“It’s moving!” “That’s no indication, it could be—“ “What, zombie? Zombie squirrel?” “It could be in shock. Look at its paws.” “…damn, those are some claws.”

“WILL you two be QUIET for a moment?”

A very small voice replied, “We’re YOUR children, Mum.”

It was a fair point.

ANYWAY. There was a little more discussion while I watched poor Clementine, very thankful Boxnoggin was in postprandial torpor on the dog bed in my office.

It was a mercy.

So. Fine. There is a squirrel on the deck, possibly injured. It might be in pain. I’m going to have to think about this very carefully.

I was making lists of safety gear and thinking about a cat carrier in the garage.

Yes, the very cat carrier Squirrel!Neo escaped from in the old house.

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different outcomes, but what the hell else can you do with squirrels, I ask you?

So. I finally decided faint heart never won freedom from one’s conscience when faced with a possibly distressed squirrel, and made my decision.

“Both of you back up to the other side of the table. I’m gonna put a water bowl out and see what happens.”

“Are you sure? You’re barefoot.” “I have slippers!” “I got my shoes right here.” “Should I get the golf club?” “Wish we had a taser.”

“THERE WILL BE NO TASERING SQUIRRELS,” I stated, firmly and loudly.

Clementine did not move. I hazard she was a bit groggy.

“It was a theoretical taser.” “You’re barefoot, are you sure this is—“ “I can get your shoes.” “There are shoes right by the door.”

Meanwhile I was getting a small bowl and filling it with water. I am a woman of ACTION.

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