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 before casting a swift accusatory look with its tiny eyes. That even my mask cannot protect me against.