I was driving along the back roads to my home with my neck brace and hives when I came across two squirrels staring down each other in the middle of the one lane, winding road. As an animal lover I hit the brakes and stopped. The squirrels didn’t move. I blew the horn. The squirrels didn’t move. By not moving I mean they didn’t even blink their eyes, they were that concentrated on each other. I couldn’t continue on because they were literally blocking the small road.
They were so frozen in stillness that I briefly thought someone had pulled a joke and put two fake squirrels in the middle of the road to see how many bas@#1*ds would run over them. I put the car in park, checked the time to see I had about ten minutes before the schools let out and the teenagers came zooming through. So in that window of opportunity I hauled myself out of the car neck brace, hives and all intent on moving the squirrels whether they were real or not.
A note about being in a neck brace. Moving in one is not easy. Since the neck cannot rotate or bend, the whole body must do those actions to position the eyes on what they need to observe. The motions are done slowly or else bad things happen. Second, when a neck brace is around a neck covered in itchy hives any motion that makes the brace rub against the skin makes the hives worse. And so I approached the squirrels. One woman in a neck brace, two frozen squirrels and an idling car all in the middle of a small winding road.
They didn’t move as I approached them. But now that I was so very close and slowly bending closer, I could see their little rib cages moving in and out with breath. Since they were alive all I had to do was stamp my foot and off they’d go. Or so I thought. I didn’t think to straighten up before stamping and shooing. A major mistake on my part.
I stamped my feet and whooshed my arms toward the sky in a kind of yoga warrior pose and all was absolutely quiet for a moment. In that peaceful second, I saw their little eyes roll up to look at me, then I let loose a scream of pain as all the muscles in my back went into spasm. Both squirrels quickly pivoted and faced me. They were not happy.
Thinking they would attack, I ripped the foam neck brace from my neck and flailed it in their direction. It was the only defensive thing I had. Though unable to straighten up, my sense of survival kicked in. My legs and feet were beating it back to the car door as fast as a Galapagos Giant Turtle walks. The squirrels took a few steps towards me, I waved my neck brace again. Then off they skittered to opposite sides of the road.
I gently maneuvered myself back into the car. It was time for the schools to let out. I didn’t bother putting on the neck brace, the pain in my neck was the least of my problems now that the back muscles were in spasm and the hives were in full blown itching.
When I got back home and told The Skipper what happened, he said that maybe I should knit more to stay out of trouble. I completely agree.
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