This evening was lovely - warm and sunny, especially for March - so Dr. Burg and I enjoyed a beer on our top deck. As I was talking, Dr. Burg looked over the edge of the deck. When I finished my sentence, he suggested I too look over. On the roof of our porch lay a dead dove. Such a sad sad sight. Dr. Burg has promised to crawl out on the porch roof tomorrow in order to offer the bird a proper burial. While there is nothing funny about a dead dove, it did remind me of the dead squirrel.
I closed on my little row-house on September 10th, 2001. The next day the world fell apart so I stayed put and waited to move in for a few more days. It took me weeks to get settled so needless to say, I did not worry much about the garden my first year. I did not have the energy. About a month after moving in, I went into the backyard to look around. There in the puny untended flower garden lay a dead squirrel. This was not a recently dead squirrel. No this baby was dead dead and smelly. I held my nose and promptly disposed of the sad little thing.
The next morning, I got a call from a parishioner. "Hi LadyBurg, this is your parishioner who lives across the river and no where near you. I'm calling to tell you that there is a dead squirrel in your backyard." Flustered, I told her I had found and disposed of the squirrel and then asked how she knew. It turns out my back door neighbor worked with the woman's husband at the local community college. Somehow the dead squirrel came up in conversation and she asked if the couple might call their pastor and ask her to remove the dead smelly squirrel. It turns out the thing had laid there for over two weeks! The neighbors were all a dither about the dead squirrel but no one knew me well enough to feel they could knock on my door and ask me to pick it up.
I think its funny that no one told me. It's also odd that no one reached over the waist high fence and disposed of it themselves. As I got to know my neighbors they told me how they
all agonized over the dead squirrel, not knowing how to approach me with the issue.
Its tempting to leave the dead bird just to watch them all squirm again, but I can't do that to the bird. I wouldn't have done it to the squirrel if someone had just had the guts to tell me. It really wouldn't have been so hard, "Hi Ladyburg. I live next door. I noticed yesterday that you have a dead squirrel in your yard. Just thought you'd want to know. Welcome to the neighborhood!"