stories of a failed holy man


squirrel
November 30, 2009, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: ,

i watched a squirrel death match the other day. two squirrels on a fragile tree branch, pushing, fighting for position. the survival of the fittest. evolution in its rawest form. one will survive, the other will go to the eternal abyss. actually, i’m pretty sure they were just playing, because neither of them died. but it was fun in that moment to pretend it was life or death, 20 feet off the ground. they should hire squirrels for UFC. it would be more entertaining that way. i’m pretty sure someone will beat me to death for that statement.

i’ve always loved squirrels. my wife hates them, thinks they are rodents. i told her she was a rodent and i slept on the couch a couple nights. not really, she actually just slapped me and we called it even. that’s how our relationship works. the food chain starts at the bottom with me, then squirrels in the middle, our daughters second in command, with her at the top. general melissa. she makes me call her that. for the record, all of that is made up. she will read this and then make it a reality if i don’t ensure everyone knows i am kidding. we have a very loving relationship where we work together and share everything we have. (she forced me to type this! someone save me!)

our neighbor has a bird feeder in her tree, and it attracts squirrels all day long. at any given moment you can look out our big front window and see the squirrels playing and eating to their hearts delight. squirrels remind me of my grandpa peterson. some of our greatest memories involved 4 legged critters. which sounds weird, but it makes sense if you know him. i remember living on the old dauphin campus of WCC. i would always go to grandma and grandpa’s house just across the field. i’m not really sure how it started, but one day we ended up outside trying to feed the squirrels. throwing pieces of bread everywhere to get them to come out of hiding. many did, but there was only one that was truly brave. he would have completely annihilated the competition in my USFC (ultimate squirrel fighting championship). others would come within a few feet, but this one would come right up to our feet. one day, when we quit throwing the food, he ran right up my leg and launched himself off a second later. grandpa decided to try an experiment. we got some more food and put it on top of our hats. the squirrel crawled up our legs and bodies all the way on top of our head. then he would sit there eating his prize. we would hold the bread in our hands and let him just chill on our arms while he ate. one day he just didn’t show up. i think it was winter, so maybe he was hibernating. or maybe he became a snob and was too good for our bread. either way, that was my grandpa. crazy memories of weird rodents. and i’m not talking about joylyn. SNAP! jk lol brb.

he always used to take us gopher hunting. he had a little semi-automatic 22 and we would drive the dirt roads of weyburn scouring the fields for rodents. i remember this one specific time when i was older. i must have been in high school. grandpa wanted to take me gopher hunting. i didn’t really want to go. after all, i was a punk with an attitude. i hardly wanted to go with my grandpa to shoot gophers. but i went. i can’t remember whether i gave in or if my mom made me go. but i’m glad i did. because it’s one of the best memories i have of him. i wasn’t used to holding a gun. it felt awkward in my hands. but grandpa always gave me the first shot. i kept missing our targets and he finally realized it was because i wasn’t using the sight. he thought that was pretty funny. in fact, he laughed for a good few minutes about it. and not just a chuckle. a deep laugh from deep inside of him. i laughed because i couldn’t believe he thought it was so funny. if he gave a light little chuckle, i would have understood. but he was killing himself laughing. grandpa making fun of me. but not in a rude way. he just genuinely found joy in simple things and was so glad to be there with me in that moment. for years after that, he brought up that moment. and he would laugh. half at me, half with me. because i forgot to use the sight. that’s why rodents remind me of my grandpa. he was a man who would find any little thing and bring out the joy and life in it. whether it was a joke, squirrels, gophers, fishing, telling stories…he even disliked george bush as much as i did. i remember him always being happy to be with me. whatever we were doing. i wish i had gotten to know him better. i’m just thinking of my grandpa lots lately. and all these little things i remember that brought him joy are reminding me of the best time of my life. with a grandpa who loved me until he died. i hope i can be like him someday. he was a good man.

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1 Comment so far
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I kinda expected a blog on the Riders…still good one.

Comment by The John




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