Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No Murderous Intent

I'll go to my grave wondering how it happened. I never saw him and don't know if i ran over him because i wasn't careful enough or if he walked in front of me and there was nothing i could have done in any case. In the end, though, it doesn't really matter any more because he's dead. They say it's "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" and that couldn't be any more true than after today.

Once i heard the horrifying crunch i immediately looked up and realized there were pieces of his body everywhere. Everyone knows i'm not a Christian, but for some reason my unthinking reaction was to kneel on the spot and recite the little i could remember of the Lord's Prayer:

This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

That's from Matthew, Chapter 6, but don't ask me why i remember that, or the text either, for that matter. But i do remember it. One reason i have always liked that quote is that it is short and to the point, and that the bible says that's what you're supposed to be when praying. More specifically, just before the prayer it reminds you: "[W]hen you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Then again, if He already knows what i need before i ask, why didn't he know i didn't need to run anybody over just before lunch today? But this is sort of off topic, so i'll leave it there.

So there i was, just coming around the corner, with a bush, that i planted last year, unfortunately, right in my line of sight so i couldn't see anything. As i started the turn around the bush... Crunch, Smash,... Oh Shit, what was that? Oh, man, oh man, oh man, what did i just do?????

Then i noticed the pieces everywhere and my heart sank. Some were under the bush, others were spread out across the yard amongst many of the other bushes. Apparently he had been made of cement because there was cement-like dust everywhere, and when i looked, the bottom of the lawn mower was covered in it — white, chalky, covering everything.

He had been a faithful garden squirrel for many, many years; almost since i first bought the house 11 years ago. Why, oh why did he have to get in front of the mower now? Was it intentional — looking for an easy way to end a long, long life confined to sitting in the yard, all year, all seasons, all conditions? A life of monotonous, repetitive, nothingness? A life of gradual decline as the plaster on the right side of its body deteriorated and fell off (forcing me to force him to always sit with that side facing the inside of the bush)?

Or had it been my fault? Had i been careless in his death? I didn't know then, as i knelt and prayed, and i'll probably never know... unless he comes back again as another cheap garden statue in our local Walmart, at which point i'll promise to be more aware as i mow in the future as i bring him back home.

No comments: