Don’t be that squirrel…

To my loyal long-term subscribers, don’t be concerned, you will not be subjected again, to the squirrel in this post.

In my last entry I discussed possibly closing down Brown Road Chronicles. I also mentioned that I’d decided to keep this blog going and I am here to send some appreciation out to all the people who offered comments and encouragement. Thanks… seriously!

“So… what’s your point?”

Today I was driving home down a major four lane road in a nearby town.  I was in the right lane, a small white car was in the left lane just ahead of me. On the other side, no cars were headed in our direction. About 100 yards ahead of me I saw a squirrel start running across the road.  Now, this clearly wasn’t just any squirrel… this was a squirrel of epic and noble stature, powerful and athletic. This squirrel was running…. FAST… like Usain Bolt breaking world records in the 100 meters at the recent summer Olympics. I could tell, even from a distance, that this squirrel possessed a nimbleness and agility not often seen in the small animal world. I could almost hear the synapses firing as his muscular rear legs propelled him, with hydraulic force, in leaps and bounds across the pavement.

Why was this squirrel crossing the road? Who knows! That’s one of those profound, life altering questions that will perhaps never be answered in our lifetimes.  We’ve pretty much figured out why Chickens cross the road, I mean that’s been hashed out over centuries in riddle after riddle.  But why do squirrels cross the road?  Yeah, I know… seriously… mind blowing….

Perhaps he saw a good-looking girl squirrel on the other side, or a large oak tree dripping with acorns. Maybe he was late for an important appointment. I don’t know… regardless, when you see a squirrel running across the road they are clearly on a mission, they have a goal in sight, they are focused… like a laser… no even more than that… they’re focused… like a pair of binoculars on a boat full of bikini-clad beauties… uhhh, not that I would do that.

Anyhow, so this mythological squirrel goes running across the road, across four lanes, and gets to literally about two feet from the edge of the opposite side.  He had made it across four lanes! He could taste it, two more leaps and he would have been safely in the grass and off to claim whatever dangling carrot had driven him across on this journey in the first place.


With just two feet to spare, and still no cars within harm’s way, he slammed on his brakes.  I could hear the pads of his feet, squealing like an Indy Car, as he turned around, righted the ship… and just as powerfully and athletically ran back to his starting position and off into the woods. It was a dramatic change of events, an epic reversal of fortune.  Perhaps he was just attempting to play a little chicken (no pun intended) with any cars that might be in the road, but more likely, he had been plagued with that brief moment of doubt that we have all experienced in life. He had lost his confidence, panicked and had a sudden bout of uncertainty. He didn’t believe in himself and he gave up.

“So… what’s your point?”

Well, don’t be that squirrel.

I’ve decided not to be that squirrel either. I don’t really know why I write this blog, what my goals are, what the purpose is, what the end result will be. What I do know… if you’ve got some nuts you are chasing and you are so close that you can taste them… well, whether they hang from the tree that is your job, or your writing career, or your relationships or wherever… those are your goals and your dreams and they’re important.  They are oh, so important.  So dig down deep in your gut and find the will to go that extra couple of feet and cross your particular road.

Because when you get there… those will be some of the tastiest proverbial nuts you’ve ever eaten!


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26 responses to “Don’t be that squirrel…

  1. This year, for the first time ever, my blueberries produced a ton. There were probably ten cups worth of blueberries on each one of them. Then, just as they were getting ripe, the squirrels came. One in particular learned out to get on my deck and get into my potted blueberries.

    I still got a few cups, but next year I’m buying a BB gun. Oh, I won’t kill him, but I’ll sting him enough so he doesn’t come back, the little bastard. I don’t blame him, of course. Those blueberries were a lot tastier than those nasty helicopter seeds he eats off the trees, but they’re MINE.

    Damn squirrels….

    Anyway, glad to see you’re still blogging! Now I won’t have to add you to my dead bloggers list.

    • I know someone who bought one of those bird feeders with the globe around it that’s supposed to keep the squirrels out. He has a photo with the squirrel inside the globe, happily eating bird seed. I told him he should send the pic to the manufacturer. Sorry you lost your blueberries!

  2. bigsheepcommunications

    Now that was deep. Clearly I’ve been underestimating what goes on in a squirrel’s psyche when he darts randomly back and forth across the pavement as cars bear down on him.

    Here’s to the nuts, whatever/wherever they may be!

  3. Sometimes I’m chasing the nuts. Sometimes the nuts are chasing me. Usually curiosity trumps fear, but I do have to be vigilant about focus. Your advice was excellent, Steve.

  4. I’ve always thought squirrels have suicidal tendencies, or at least very high risk-seeking behavioral tendencies.

    I don’t recall whether I came back to comment on your other post. I had too much to say, because I’ve had the same thought — why did I start, why continue. Here’s one: I just found your blog, so you have to keep it going long enough for me to catch up on the great writing.

    And your goats need Twinkies. I’m about to contribute to that fine effort right now . . . .

  5. Steve, you’ve done it again. Brilliant post. Loved it!! I really needed to hear this advice today, too–came at the perfect time. I’m having doubts about going back to school already (yikes). Just gotta keep my eye on the prize and go for it. I certainly hope you keep up with the blogging in the meantime, it’s a nice distraction from all that boring studying.

  6. Oh, and this really is a brilliant post! (Sorry about leaving so many comments though.)

  7. But the squirrel is of epic and noble stature, powerful and athletic. It’s an admirable role model. And possibly it came closer to achieving its goal than I did. And plus it can wear a plush fur coat without harming animals.

  8. The squirrels on Trussell Road near our house seem to wander into the road aimlessly. I have had to screech to a full stop before while the squirrels hopped around the road trying to decide where to go next. I thought it was just because we have stupid squirrels here, but now your post has corrected me – we just have unambitious, non-goal oriented squirrels.


  9. Val

    Keep your eye on the squirrel and make sure the road has plenty of nuts. I’m glad you’re gonna keep going. 🙂

  10. Cheryl

    As a new reader of your blog, I’m so glad you’re going to keep blogging. I enjoy your posts very much. It’s been a summer of profound change for our family… lots of changes and lots of decisions to make. Even so, it’s all good. Change is not always bad, it’s just change. Your post just reaffirmed that we need to aim high and don’t be afraid to go for it. Much needed right now. Thanks.

  11. You’re welcome and glad it meant something. Happy you’re reading the blog too! Thanks!!

  12. Damn…I need to pay more attention. I just noticed that your goats get twinkies…

  13. OK – I don’t get around much right at the moment. But you do not dare stop writing!!!

    Now go give those goats 20 twinkies.

    If you are looking for a “why” – find a cause. You may not agree with my cause, but surely there is one in the USA?

    Federally funded education, perhaps?

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