The squirrel came for me.
I was definitely present for this one.
It’s not that I’m afraid of squirrels. It’s just that I find them unpredictable.
The sound of scurrying behind my desk and the choked howl I let out the moment my eyes met his. Those black orbs.
It’s not often you find a squirrel in your office.
Then he crashed and flitted wildly about the room. We both did. Two startled mammals flailing in panic.
Within seconds he dashed out the door, slammed into several walls, and dove into the vast living room.
(It’s a living room because the place where I work is a house converted into an office).
I called for my coworker and he came out to see what the commotion was, but I was in such shock, such laughable disbelief, that I couldn’t blurt out the word “squirrel” before the creature had descended upon him. He leapt like an Irish Riverdancer as the squirrel zipped under his feet. By the time squirrel flew back into the living room where I was, my coworker had fled into the safety of his office and locked the door, leaving me alone to face the speedy beast.
I darted into the kitchen and the squirrel hid under an empty desk. I peered out around the corner and waited for the animal to make a move. It was quiet for a brief second. A pregnant stillness.
I had just read an article, just the other day, about a second grade teacher in Marin County, who, in the middle of teaching a lesson, right there in the daydream of her normal life, was attacked by an insane squirrel, much to the horror of the children. It literally crawled up her leg and bit her in the shoulder. That image was fresh on my mind as I thought frantically about how to get the squirrel out.
I could hear my coworker’s muffled shouts from inside his office, telling me, “Open the doors, open both doors!”
I tiptoed over to the back door, the one furthest from where the squirrel was now hiding, and thrust the glass door open, then returned to the kitchen. My coworker and I then collectively started banging on the walls to spook the squirrel into motion. It came out from hiding, bursting back and forth across the living room, missing the door several times, before finally hitting the target and running outside.
“Okay, it’s out!” I yelled to my coworker. He came out of his office. We were exasperated, giddy, and completely goofy feeling. We decompressed from the whole affair with a lot of laughing as we told our other coworkers what had happened.
Later on, when I related this all to my wife, she burst into laughter, harder than I’ve ever heard her. She went on and on about the idea of two grown men jumping around like scardy cats in the face of a little woodland creature.
I told her that I now “hate” squirrels. I was joking (mostly).
“It didn’t attack you,” she said. “It just came into your office.”
“It attacked my peaceful environment,” I said. “It was a symbolic attack.”
“It was to wake you up,” she said. “To remind you that life is not that boring.”