A Squirrel Story

An idea that emerged after a friend and I had a stupid conversation about how terrible it would be to have human’s mind but be a squirrel.

‘The Squirrel That Knew’

In a modern era of bustling streets and sprawling cities, there lived a squirrel who by mysterious divine means, woke up one morning to be self-aware. He had gone to sleep the previous night in his usual burrow. Sensations fleeted to and fro from his small rodent brain before unconsciousness overtook him–in a squirrel’s mind, thoughts didn’t extend past basic shapes of “hungry,” “sleepy” and “in heat”. When the navy blue rocking waves of the “sleepy” instinct lulled in at sundown, the squirrel followed his internal manual and laid his body to rest.

In the hours that passed as the moon traveled its nightly arc, a cataclysmic change occurred in his wiring. The brain encapsulated by his delicate skull remained physically the same, yet his mind underwent so rapid an expansion that the force of its inflation caused a ringing explosion inside his head–a Big Bang, the split second between an idle void and a new universe. The physical pain jolted him awake.

The sun had barely peeped through the inactive sky. The world immediately registered to him in a way that it had never before. For the first time, he became aware that something existed beyond the horizon. In his previous timeless days, nothing extended past two or three meters. Carefully treading through this strange new world, he began to soak up new data in the form of novel scents and sights. What used to be abstract symbols became comprehensible words and sentences. He started to understand things.

Humanity transformed from unintelligible primates into intelligent beings. All the while his newly sharp eyes observed his fellow species. No squirrels had names. They had no ego, no self, no need to differentiate themselves. They just were. When he tried to communicate to other squirrels, they just stared vacantly then scurried off in search of nuts. When he tried to communicate to humans, the most they did was feed him crumbs. Trapped, alone, and unable to speak, his thoughts grew erratic like compressed gas particles brought near heat.

At the peak of morning rush hour, he ran into the street. The intelligent human felt a slight bump as her sophisticated two-ton vehicle flattened his small body. The intelligent human didn’t think anything of it because she was running late for work. What remained of him simply looked like lean ground beef matted into black fur, the typical garbled roadkill sight. In fact, all roadkill were just animals that knew.



Cliffwood Road Canopy