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Location: Midwest, United States

Monday, January 19, 2009

Squirrel Dreams?

Not all that many squirrels romp around my neighborhood. Not surprising, given that my little community sprang unexpectedly from over-tilled cornfields. A paltry number of trees dot my immediate landscape. I can count them on the fingers of one hand.

It was in the middle of our deep freeze when my eyes gazed upon the skeletal tree to the east. It looked incredibly forlorn. There, near the terminus of an anorexic limb, bulged a solitary squirrel’s nest. I became fixated on the mysteries of squirrels and survival in the grip of winter’s harsh reality. I’ve no doubt the fact my nuts were frozen helped to fuel my fugue.

How do they do it? How does a squirrel survive sub-freezing temperatures and bitter winter winds? I know that if I were to attempt such a feat, I’d be dead within hours. And yet, the squirrel sleeps. Despite the roaring winds, the sleet or hail or shards of ice, the squirrel sleeps blanketed only by its tail.

And what does the squirrel dream?

Does it toss and turn within its heaving, tortured nest? Does it wake in the dead of the deadest night, frozen within ice, and bewail its very existence? Does it curse? Does it fret? Does it lose all hope and simply succumb to death? Apparently not.

The squirrel sleeps. What must this hardy soul dream such that it can endure, survive? Does it dream of spectacular summer days, of plump seeds and amorous exploits? Is there more? Is there healing magic? What dreams can so beguile a soul that it wills itself to endure the unendurable? I’d like to know.

I need a few dreams like that myself.

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Blogger Ponita said...

Having about 100,000 hairs per square inch of skin certainly helps...

Mon Jan 19, 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger shadowlands6822 said...

They dream of spring, warm weather and running around like squirrels...don't you think?

That is what I am dreaming of...warmth.

Tue Jan 20, 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

They have extremely high metabolisms for one...they share their nests with other squirrels during very harsh winters but sadly they also don't make it through some extremes. I love watching the squirrels on my property. I even have wee names for the ones I recognize. I suppose I should start wishing them sweet dreams... as I do for you!

Tue Jan 20, 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always pray the dear wee things make it. I can't bear to think of them freezing. I also worry about the little birds in the snow. If I had the money I would go around the world and build winter habitats for as many creatures as I could.

Tue Jan 20, 06:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Tu Stulbinantis!) Jonas, what a great story, every word
impeccable, the imagery striking, the thoughts astonishing, the sentiments enlightening, and funny too, really.

listen i have plenty of squirrels here so many i cant count them. they r truly wondrous creatures. and really lightfooted and quick. i dont know how they do it either, its freezing out there. but they come up to the deck every morning and get peanuts. i go thru 20 pounds of peanuts a week. but we have a deal: stay outta the attic and i'll feed ya.

Tue Jan 20, 07:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my God, that is too cute. I think the teeny tiny brain lends itself to an ability to set asde worry.

Tue Jan 20, 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger anna said...

I have no idea what they dream, but I know my dreams torment me and add to my restlessness.

Wed Jan 21, 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

My, we've covered the gamut of considerations, haven't we?

I like the biological factoids...and the dream notions. There is ample room in my brain for both. (and high praise makes my head swell)

(Koff, koff) Um...Ms. Citizen...there are those who would attest that I have a teeny tiny brain and I worry plenty.

Oh, Anna! I had to mull on that a while. I realized that I've never been tormented by dreams. Scared silly, on occasion? Yes. Tormented? No.

We humans are complicated, no?

Thu Jan 29, 07:38:00 PM  
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