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Squirrels resist medical care

Excitement abounds in the world today. There are actual political candidates who voluntarily dress up as Nazis on weekends! There are people throwing books at the president!

But there is nothing I care more about right now than the idea of squirrels resisting medical care.

Here is the essential quote:

An Animal Control officer... said the squirrel was probably not seriously injured. Another squirrel was spotted on the sidewalk nearby, and it did not move when the officer approached.

It was taken to the Animal Welfare League for examination, but upon arrival, the squirrel became alert and resisted attempts to be handled.

The officer saw a small cut on the top of its head and said the squirrel might have suffered some sort of trauma.

Because the animal appeared to have recovered from the trauma, the officer took it to the area where it had been found and released it.

This is the only possible way this can have happened:

The first squirrel, Bernie, scuttles away quickly to their shared squirrel nest. After a few hours, the second squirrel reappears.

"Bernie," the injured squirrel says, climbing heavily back up into the tree, "if this ever happens again, I want to go naturally, and you can mingle my ashes with those nuts from last winter."

"I don't remember where I put the nuts," Bernie says, running frantically around the tree and rattling all the branches to show how concerned he is.

"I don't have insurance," the squirrel says. "In squirrel years, I'm over 26, so they kicked me off my parents' plan. And there's no way I'm paying out-of-pouch for extreme care from those giant creatures with their newfangled technology."

"I don't think you have a pouch," Bernie says. "But I hear you."

"Also, as my committed squirrel life partner, your rights to have a say in my end-of-life care are sort of ambiguous depending on which state we're in and who our employer is."

"That's the truth," Bernie says.

The first squirrel moans faintly.

"Put a nut on it," Bernie suggests.

"That's what you always say."

"It works."

The first squirrel holds a nut to its head. "That does feel better," it says, pensively, after a bit. "I'm glad I didn't let them take me anywhere. I've read the Science Times for years after people leave it on park benches, and I still don't understand health care."

"Especially not how bending the curve works," Bernie says.

"That's the truth," the first squirrel agrees.

"Once I was on a branch, and I got too far out, causing the branch to curve and bend, and it recoiled and flung me several meters."

"I bet that's what bending the curve is like," the first squirrel says.

They sit there in silence for a while.

"You see what that Carl Paladino had to say yesterday?" Bernie says.

"Please, Bernie, I've had enough traumas for today," the first squirrel responds. "That guy's a nut."

"That's offensive to nuts," Bernie says. "Nuts never did anything to you."

"Yeah, well, nuts to him," the first squirrel says, with a sigh. "I'm only saying that because I'm trying to wish good things to people who wish bad things to me. It's supposed to improve your stress levels."

"You're a better squirrel than I am," Bernie says, admiringly.

They sit there for a bit longer.

"What were we talking about again?" Bernie asks.

"My head hurts," the first squirrel says. "Let's go eat some nuts."

By Alexandra Petri  | October 11, 2010; 3:43 PM ET
Tags:  Alexandra Petri  
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