An Ode to the Squirrel in the tree.

One of my grand plans has come apart at the seams. Who cares? Well, probably nobody but I’m going to tell you about it anyway.  Very quickly. So as not to bore you, whoever you may be out there in cyber world.

I took a photo of a squirrel. It was awesome. And poetic. I had plans to write a blog around said squirrel.  Here is where the plan nose-dives. I took a really shit photo.

Not only is the dark lump barely recognisable as a potentially rabid critter sitting at the end of a very metaphorically important stumpy tree branch, I somehow managed to turn the shot into a gif. So it is not your eyes, dear reader, the picture is indeed moving. Just a fraction. For no apparent reason. Thank you, Google Pixel phone, you are amazing and pretty and all that shit but if I wanted the world’s lamest gif I would have done it intentionally.

Back to my mate the squirrel. In my defense (of bad photography) he is halfway up a massive tree and I am on the ground,  pointing my phone to the heavens and gathering stares from other walkers on the rail trail, wondering what the hell I’m finding so bloody interesting up there.

But look at the little guy. He was just sitting there, gazing out into oblivion at the end of the short stump of a branch, like he was thinking ‘Well fuck, that was unexpected. This seemed like a really solid tree, nice truck, good grip. thick branches leading out in all directions, leading me on to further squirrel adventures in the wild. And I ended up here. On this stumpy bit. End of the line. Too far from the next tree to even think about jumping.  The only branch on the tree that’s broken, cut off in its prime. But I really, really wanted to go that way. That branch would have been so awesome, I can feel it in my squirrel nuts. Damn you tree gods, why you gotta be such asshats? What did this branch ever do to you?” At which point his squirrel buddies tell him to stop being a dick and just turn around (they call him other names that I can’t repeat here cause squirrels are mean sons of bitches sometimes) but they had a valid point. By the time I got to the other side of the tree, Ruben the Rabies-Carrying-Rodent had done just that.

Kept going, another way.  Maybe not quite as awesome a way as that branch would have been, but the view was still good.

What’s this got to do with writing? Everything, nothing, does it need to? Can’t I just sound like a lunatic every now and then whilst actually trying to sound philosophical and shit?

I dunno, Ruben just intrigued me. Righto, back to the writing.

PS – I did develop a ‘squirrels in trees’ fetish while I was away at Christmas. Is there therapy for that?

Exhibit A (Ten points if you can actually spot the squirrel in this one.)

Exhibit B (Go to an optometrist if you can’t spot the squirrel in this one.)


  1. Eva Kovacic Lee on January 7, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Thank you little squirrel, keep going another way… all those branches will hold you up. The tree is your element, your “terra firma” – even the branch that broke off is part of your landscape.

  2. Amanda D on January 7, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Jump little squirrel, jump. It’ll be ok.

  3. Dimmy Yeoland on January 10, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Maybe scramble down that tree and encounter some friendly, admiring pedestrians who would love to raid their stock of nuts to share with you – but remember, don’t bite the hand that feeds you!

  4. Tamsin Martin on January 13, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    I love this, Danielle :-).
    Any writing piece that includes a question to the tree gods asking why they are ‘such asshats’ has me hooked lol.
    Hope you are doing ok. x

  5. David on August 21, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Danielle

    I love the writing but I don’t see the squirrel in the picture, honestly even with my glasses on I still see only a chipmunk not a squirrel.

    • DanKG on August 21, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      I am going to blame it on ‘widow brain’ and being Australian….those critters all look the same to me 😉 Of course I see now that you are 100%correct! Though it is indeed a squirrel that I personally took a photo of.

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