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A daily squirrel ritual

So, between working at the Royal Oak here in Ottawa (yes, I am a very scary bouncer, thank you very much!), and cavorting with brooke et le canard, I have been doing as much squirrel stalking as is sanely possible. (Although, if you ask a Canadian, it’s not a sane passtime).

While there are many accessways to the main street of town from where I live, I always take Lisgar, since there’s a park halfway down and I am usually fortunate enough to happen upon some of my fourlegged friends there and have a pleasant conversation.

It mostly goes like this:

I see a squirrel. Grin in delight. Stop walking.

Squirrel stops eating. Gazes back at me. Cocks its head. Shakes its tail enquiringly. Takes a step closer.

I wonder how deep in my bag my camera is, and if I can get to it with no sudden movements.

The squirrel shakes its tail with more vigour. Darts closer. Peers at me. Looks confused. Points one paw towards its own chest (I swear they do this), as if to ask “Me? Are you looking at me?”

Yes, Squirrel. I’m looking at you.

Squirrel is perplexed. It can’t understand why, when the other 99% of the Ottawa population bust past it without a glance, I have stopped and am staring in fascination. The squirrel is as curious about my existance as I am about its.

The mutual fascination continues for several silent moments, until I attempt t0 extract my camera and the squirrel scarpers.

And in breaking news: I have now met a squirrel in my park that is all black with a white tail. What the heck? What are you trying to do, squirrel, give me a heart attack with your cuteness? Because I will die, you know. And then you’ll be sorry.


About writehandedgirl

Sarah is a writer who is passionate about social justice, feminism, politics, and cats. She is a columnist and poet and currently lives in Nelson. You can follow Sarah on Twitter (@_writehanded_) or read more of her writing at


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