I wish I had thought to take a picture for this blog entry, but I was far too disoriented and giddy at the time. On my way to class, I found a baby squirrel.
Walking beneath this gigantic white oak tree, I heard a shrill cry that could've been a bird, but it was so unusual that I stopped to see if I could spot what it was. Then I looked down. it was a little tiny baby squirrel. it's eyes weren't even open yet. I hate to be sentimental, but you're pretty fucked up if you don't think a little baby squirrel is amazingly cute. My first instinct (some sort of latent mothering instinct, perhaps? spooky.) was to pick it up and protect it from the evils of the world. And so I did. I picked it up without even thinking. Very un-scientific of me, but the poor thing was so helpless and exposed. I held it in one hand against my stomach and covered it with the other hand, unsure of what to do with it. But then, there was only one thing to do with it. I sat it down at the base of the tree and waited to see what would happen.
For a while, nothing happened. The little baby squirrel sat there, looking small and vulnerable, and it was all I could do not to pick it up again. But I was patient, and soon it started crying again. Then, the mother squirrel came down the tree trunk, picked the baby up, and scuttled back up the tree to the nest. It was amazing. I mean, I know it was just a squirrel, and that squirrels are not on the endangered species list, and that many a disgruntled birdwatcher has lost sleep over squirrel invaders. But it was incredible. It was just the thing I needed to prove to me that there is still hope for this world. There are still good things.