This afternoon, while sowing seeds in our 10’x10′ garden in what has become known as the Great Green Experiment, my neighbor walked over to the fence. We talked about gardening, something else, something else, and then the vulture that made an appearance on our street over the weekend. The fact that this massive bird was feasting on a slow rabbit on our street was pretty amazing considering A) this is an urban neighborhood and B) I’ve never seen a turkey vulture this far north. It was worthy banter. And so we continued on raptors.

Her: “Do you hear the owls at night?”

Me: “Yep. They’re everywhere.”

Her: “Do you hear them attack the squirrels?”

Me: “What?”

Her: “No, really? They attack the squirrels and those poor things make a screaming sound. It’s awful. I hear them all night. You must sleep really well to not hear them.”

Me: “I do. Thank God.”

Of course now I’m paranoid that once I begin to drift off tonight I’ll hear some squirrel scream in the pecan tree above our room. Followed by a ‘plop’ on our roof and the rustling of feathers and talons as the owl fights the vulture for ownership. So I’m basically fucked for sleep tonight.

***

Jim Mitchem

Bad Service and Why I'm Hopeful
The Screaming of the Squirrels

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.

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