Wednesday, May 30, 2012


photos by Jonathan Schechter

Once upon a time in an Emergency Department parking lot of a busy urban hospital in Oakland County there was a fox squirrel with some very bad eating and work habits.
 Barely 10 feet from barbed wire edge of the lot is a woodlot. That woodlot contains nut bearing trees, mulberry bushes (The leaves are tasty,so says my country living fox squirrels) and bird nests with young should a sudden urge for wholesome meat hit the squirrel. Yet, this squirrel that asked that her name not be used, may soon be in need of health care because she suffers from poor dietary habits, lack of exercise and rodent obesity resulting from her one perfected skill: SITTING!

I have come to know this squirrel rather well and observe her habits when I am on break from that emergency department that employees me as a paramedic.
 As a matter of fact when I sit outside under a shelter in that parking lot that has a few tables, mismatched chairs and a trash can the only company I often have is the squirrel.
(But that's another story.)
 I like being outside. The squirrel lives outside.
Do I dare say we are friends? I think we are.

Here is what I know.  On numerous occasions I have noted patrons of the hospital, more properly called patients, heading for the ER door. And many of those patrons snuff their cigarettes out almost in front of me and then stuff their assorted scraps of fast foods and donuts in the trash can.
(I never have figured out the need for a smoke and bad greasy food before entering the doors of ER,
 but there is much about the human species I do not understand.)
And at that moment in time of trash stuffing, Ms. Squirrel crawls down from her slouching branch of laziness wanting others to do her work and then plunges into the trash can for goodies. Unhealthy goodies.  And then she climbs up, sits down and 'pigs out'.
And that is where this once upon a time tale ends.
But I hope her life does not end too soon .
 Her exposed view in the lower picture is evidence she is a veteran mom and may soon leave her kids as orphans.  For if her bad dietary habits don't clog those rodent arteries, her slow moving scamper with a bloated belly from daily gluttony may just draw the attention of my other and much healthier parking lot friend: A red-tailed hawk that perches on the rooftop security globe and works hard.
And he knows she is there.
Moral of the story: The lazy one loses in the end.


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