As I got in the park I noticed a wounded squirrel on the ground. At first I thought he was dead. Lying flat out on his tummy and not moving. Then I saw his eyes blink. I moved closer ever so slowly to see if he'd run away. But he didn't. He stayed there his eyes moving. He was alive and injured. Probably fell off a tree or something. Lying there flat out. At first I thought he was covering his nuts, protecting them perhaps before burying them. But he was injured all right.
I did not know what to do. I decided to tweet about it. I have quite a large following on Twitter. At least six people. Someone is bound to respond with a suggestion.
No one did. I phoned a colleague at work. Mandy ... she loves animals. She keeps snails ... hundreds of them, she said. She sells them to French restaurants. Frogs too. She told me to take the squirrel to a vet.
I tried picking him up and the brute bit my finger. Drew blood too. It really hurt. I wrapped my finger with my handkerchief. Put on a glove and quickly picked the squirrel and put him in my brief case. I shut it quick and ran for my train.
Throughout the journey the damn animal kept making noises. I could feel him moving inside my brief case. People were looking at me. I pretended to have a painful stomach in the hope they thought the noises emanated from me. I doubt anyone was convinced.
I always have trouble with animals. Perhaps I should have left him there to die. Did I tell you I once killed a parrot? It was my boss' parrot. We were at my boss' house for a Christmas drink. He asked me to open a bottle of Champagne. The cork flew out, hit the parrot in the head and he dropped off his perch to the floor dead. I can see it all in slow motion now in my head.
They were all standing there. My boss, his wife and guests and colleagues. All with their empty glasses waiting for the Champagne. I held the bottle at an angle as you do. The cork flew across the room, hit the parrot in the head like a bullet, and he dropped with a thud to the ground. I can hear it too. Pop of the cork, a soft hit to the head, the parrot squawked and fell with a thud.
They stood there silent. Looking at me, looking at the empty perch and at the dead bird on the floor. Meanwhile the Champagne was spewing from the bottle onto the expensive carpet.
And now I had a demented squirrel in my brief case on the train. I rushed to the vet. Luckily he was still open and there were no other customers. He was there with his nurse and receptionist. I told them what happened and they took the brief case from me.
Minutes later the receptionist returned my briefcase. The damned animal had torn all my papers and did what all frightened animals do. There was wee and poo all over inside the brief case.
The vet said he'd injured his leg but not broken any bones. I mean the squirrel, not the vet. Why should the vet have injured his leg. You're not keeping up with this story are you?
He said, the vet that is ... he said ideally I should return the squirrel where I found him because that's where his nuts are. I didn't understand at first. The nurse sniggered. The vet explained that squirrels bury acorns and other nuts in certain places for winter. This one was now miles from his domain, and if left in our local park he'd probably starve seeing we're close to winter.
They gave me a small cage, which I covered with cloth so no one could see inside. The following day, being Saturday, I drove back in my car all the way to the park near work; a fifty miles journey each way. Parked the car in a car park costing me a fortune. Went to the park and released the animal.
Should you ever find a wounded animal or bird, do not tweet about it. Do not phone Mandy. And do not put it in your brief case.
I wonder what the Good Samaritan in the Bible would have done if he found the squirrel?