Are Squirrels Happy?

Today, Martin and I took a 90 minute stroll after dinner, partly because my Sweetie likes to be “busy,” maybe a little because he likes to be outside and I think a lot because it is Fall, it’s beautiful out and walking is both good exercise for the body and a renewing experience for the soul. So, decked out in our “official walking shoes,” we went to Southerly Park, a few blocks from where we live in Shaker.

The walk was great and the occasional mist of rain was actually quite refreshing. I personally sometimes feel a bit detached from Nature and the Earth, so when Martin “makes” me go out in the real air, I am always thankful (he’s so good for me). Anyway, the walk was pleasant, my companion awesome and the trees in the park – while not in full Autumn colors yet – were still beautiful. Southerly Park has a small stream that runs through the center and it is really quite lovely. It also boasts a 27-year-old “fitness trail,” so along the way we stopped and did a few stretching exercises, I attempted some pull-ups (no way!) and Martin dazzled me with his balance and agility skills. It was fun.

The park had a few other people and dogs/kids in it but, more than anything, there were a lot of these guys, and I mean a LOT of these guys…

squirrel with a nutAs we walked long the paths, we passed what seemed like dozens of them, all just nibbling away and smiling – I think. I guess squirrels smile. Which made me wonder – are squirrels happy?

I mean, look. All squirrels seem to do is eat all day, run around in trees and have fun. They MUST be happy, right? Gosh, it makes ME happy just to watch them run. Have you ever watched a squirrel run? They move like a frantic, fluid living squiggle, their undulating bodies and tails mimicking human brain waves – I know it always calms my mind to watch them run…

red squirrel runningAnd to watch squirrels play, OMG, it makes me smile from ear to ear. They dart and dash and chase each other like crazy things. They run up and down trees. They race across yards and fences, bushes and even phone and electrical wires.

If squirrels were people, they would be the loner skate-boarding rascals that never work and just “hang out” all day being ultra-cool. We would hate them and wish we were them, all at the same time…

squirrel on a fence

So, I guess I choose to believe that squirrels are happy. I definitely envy them their life (well, not the smashed on the asphalt/road kill part of it, but all the rest). Playing, eating, sleeping, playing some more, eating some more, sleeping some more. How bad could that life be?

Maybe the next time someone suggests I am a little “squirrelly,” I’ll be sure to take that as a compliment!

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