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Sierra Daily

Apr 24, 2012

The Dead Squirrel

SquirrelIt turns out that Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is really into squirrels. So much so that he promises to donate a dollar to our friends at the National Wildlife Federation for each Tweet (up to 5000) that employs the hashtag #Squirrels4Good.

I'm a fan of urban survivors, and for that matter, I've been told I can get a little squirrelly, and more than once. . I've already set up a squirrel board on Pinterest, and so has the National Wildlife Federation. We're excited to get started, and can’t wait to see all those squirrels from around the world taking over social media.

Craig, it just so happens that I have here in my hands one of the finest pieces of squirrel literature ever written, a submission to a Sierra nature writing contest back in the dawn of time (i.e., 1991). Ms. Dorothy Halls of Woodland Hills, CA, did not win for her entry, but her verse deserves the special brand of immortality that only the Internet can offer. I recommend that you do as I have and commit it to memory; it serves admirably for those occasions when one is invited to recite something. Without further ado, "The Dead Squirrel":

My mate, my love, with the frisky tail, why do you lie so still? You're swifter far than the fastest car--surely it could not kill? Glancing each way, I'll dash in the street, nuzzle your neck and lick your feet. My mate, my love, with ways so sweet, why do you lie so still?

Up in the treetops, I'll make moan, and with my teardrops mourn you, my own. We, born of squirrel, are fated to die. Ours but to suffer and not ask why.

Now I recall how you chased me around, up in the elm tree, down to the ground, up in the evergreen--leap to the oak! Then I remember how sharply you spoke, scampering and chattering and clacking until--the big wheels rolling, the blood, the chill. My mate, my love, with endearing ways, why is your tail so still?

Feel free to RT this link, and don't forget the hashtag to benefit our bushy-tailed friends.

Photo by iStock/steverts

HS_PaulRauberPAUL RAUBER is a senior editor at Sierra. He is the author, with Carl Pope, of the happily outdated Strategic Ignorance: Why the Bush Administration Is Recklessly Destroying a Century of Environmental Progress. Otherwise he is a cyclist, cook, and father of two. Follow him on Twitter @paulrauber.



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