This morning I awoke to a loud bang. That in itself is not unusual, as I woke up to a bang the night before. The noise the night before was my 7 year-old son and his friend rearranging the furniture, setting up a fort at 12:30 am so they could sleep “Survivorman” style in the jungle that is our living room. So nothing unusual there.
But the bang this day was not the same sound as two Ikea Jenny Lund armchairs being balanced atop an Extorp slip-covered sofa.
This was something the iPod sound effect app would call “head hitting glass.” I went into the living room and pulled back the curtains. There on the glass was a small feather and a smudge of what I can only assume used to be the control centre of a flying creature. I looked for the inevitable fallout on the lawn below. There it was, a small bird – a chickadee, probably, in the dirt of my weed-filled flowerbed. A squirrel made his way to the carnage and looked down at the poor twitching bird. I could see the empathy in the squirrel’s eyes as he sized up the dying bird.
I realized that I was about to witness a rare moment of empathy in nature. This furry woodland creature was going to care for this bird in his last moments. I started to call out to my sleeping children so that they too, could witness this beautiful moment in nature.
The squirrel tucked his little(paw? arm?) anyway, he put his small front hinged appendage under the birds broken neck and raised the bird up gently and then ATE HIS FREAKING HEAD, Ozzy Osbourne style.
HE BIT IT RIGHT OFF.
Instead of waking my children to see this event, they were instead woken by their hysterical mother screaming, “No! NO! It’s eating it’s head! IT’S EATING HIS GODDAMN HEAD!”
When I checked the spot later, there remained only a few feathers and a sizeable portion of my innocence.
When my daughter gave me this Mother’s Day card later, she said she’ll add a “witness no birds being eaten” line for next year: