Why the Tree of Life?

2.25.2008

Eulogy for Stubby

Our brave backyard squirrel.

Stubby was a squirrel we noticed last fall who had just a nub left of his tail and was also missing his right front paw. We watched for him everyday and enjoyed seeing him at our squirrel feeder. He worked very hard all autumn to gather nuts and bury them, using his little nub. He was the underdog in squirrel society and was constantly being chased, but he managed to climb our fence and the trees without too much trouble. We decided that Stubby was the 'one that got away' for Geena, our dog, and that he must have lost his tail to her because Geena and Stubby had the most heated barking fests whenever they were near each other. Geena doesn't act like that with just any other squirrel. We began to know when Stubby was in the tree above our yard just by Geena's bark.

A few days ago, our back neighbour saw Stubby fall from her front tree. He seemed to be stunned and then crawled on his side until he reached the tree and began to slowly climb it. She hadn't seen him since and neither had we. It didn't sound good.

Today, K found him dead in our backyard. Geena had obviously bitten him, but there was no blood. I'm hoping that he died in the tree above and fell down, and that Geena didn't kill him in the end. He was such a brave, tough little squirrel. We will really miss seeing him.

I got a ziplock bag and wrote: "Stubby, our backyard squirrel, 2-25-08, You were very brave." D carried him in the ziplock while I got the shovel. Stubby deserved a proper pet burial, and D and I placed him next to Maisie, our cat. K preferred to watch from the window and waved good-bye to him. D gave him a hug and a kiss before we laid him down. D assured him that we would be back later to pick him up.

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