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Escaping death

Today morning I dug a grave. Reluctantly. In my frontyard. A tiny one.  For the squirrel. Who lay motionless. In the balcony, near the door. Eyes open. Staring a deep meaningful look. Unblinking. The one which tugs at your heart. Very hard. So hard that it scratches your soul. I take a deep breath.  Now comes the difficult part.  Collecting the body. And burial.  I look for help. None was available. I wear my mask. It will not protect me from the squirrel. And it will not protect the squirrel from me. But it may protect me from myself. I take a deep breath again and hold it.  I make my approach like a pilot steering a jumbojet on a precarious runway. With a garden spade.  (The same with which I dug the grave).  It's inadequate and inappropriate. I clumsily touch the tiny squirrel's body with the spade.  It shivers. And is roused! From perhaps a deep slumber! My hands shake and heart gallops at the sudden movement.  The squirrel dodges the spade and makes its escape. But not bef

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