Private Bodies

I was walking through the park,

watching the party of squirrels darting around through the grass. They’re cute I guess but I’m not a huge fan. To be honest, I find them, like pigeons, to be a bit grungy and desperate, and I am not at all in the habit of paying them any close attention.

The thing is, that this one little guy, he was watching me.
He was sitting up on two feet and had his hands folded in front of his chest, like a little old lady. He watched me intently and although I am aware that he was probably just wondering if I had any food for him, it really looked like he thought he knew me or was curious about who I was. I crouched down, about 4 feet in front of him and stared back. I thought about his little eyes, his tiny fingers and the little tiny hairs and freckles on his body.

Nobody knows where his little freckles and ticklish places are, except for him. Just like a human, he has his own little self that only he really knows, better than anyone. I got goose bumps and my eyes filled up with tears. Somebody behind me made a loud noise and my squirrel ran away. I stood up and walked home. The phone was ringing when I entered the house. My boyfriend was on the line. My voice was weak and trembling.


“Jen? What’s wrong?”

“Squirrels have their own private bodies.”

“Babe, don’t cry for squirrels… they’re mean.”

“I know.. but I need a few moments, I’ll call you back later”.

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