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I slowed down to let a squirrel cross the road and then another darted out under the car. The slightest bump told me its life was over and that I had taken it; a glance in the mirror showed the remnants of that misaligned split-second suspended in time, the soft curl of its body in that brief space where death is still warm, still carries the semblance of life.

Most afternoons the squirrels hog the bird feeders and I chase them to give the birds a chance. Today I didn’t chase them.