I saw a dead squirrel by the side of the road today. It took me a little by surprise because I had been staring at it for some time, wondering what it might be before suddenly realising exactly what it was. It made me side step and very nearly jump headfirst into a hedge. I dare say the hunched old woman shuffling along behind me must have thought I was nuts. What made the image so disturbing was the way it was lying on its side, almost foetal, as if it were just sleeping. Its tiny mouth was open. There was no blood.
A car rushed by at the same time, and I couldn’t help but build up this scenario in my head where the creature was crushed beneath the titanic tyres of a truck and its bloody guts were sent showering over me. I was of course instantly sick, spewing the contents of my stomach over the nearest garden wall.
It was then that an angry housewife stormed out her front door, shouting at me in the belief that I was a drunk or an addict. That’s when, breathless and gagging, I managed to somehow explain the turn of events.
She instantly took pity, saying as she ushered me into her home: “oh, you poor dear.” She fed me tea and biscuits and cleaned me up. And after lending me her husband’s clothes, she introduced me to her shy yet delicately pretty daughter, who happened to find me fascinating.
And so on…
I might write a story about it.