Sunday, July 18, 2004

Red squirrel

I saw a red squirrel in the park beside the Aachen casino a week ago.  It was more brown than red. I did a double take, and wrote in my mind the sentence, "I'm seeing a red squirrel. I thought they were extinct, out-competed by the grays.  It's small."
It was on the ground in front of the trees in a clearing, moving right.  Seeing a unicorn would've been scarcely less surprising. I didn't think I'd ever see a red squirrel, except in popular science stories about population dynamics. I wasn't sure what I was seeing, but I looked, and it was a squirrel, and more red than gray.
It startled away.  Though - it was so far away that it perhaps didn't even see me.  Seeing a red squirrel was a surprise for me, but seeing another human could be no surprise to it.  It's existence was a surprise to me, but not to it.
It must've moved into the green, but I didn't see it go.  My memory had fixed the moment, and my mind was thinking harder than my eyes were looking.  I stopped seeing it before it disappeared.

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