The squirrel ‘sound’ (don’t know what is it called) was audible enough to reach my office cabin at 10 in the morning. Hmmm… the squirrel gang is again in a playful mood, I thought. Wanted to have a look at them, but suddenly the phone on my desk rang and then I was engrossed in number of things. As usual my action is not much productive, but I keep on acting – by habit?
When I was going to canteen for lunch, the squirrel sound was very near to me. Now I had little time to look at them. I searched and went near the tree and saw a young one on a branch alone. The moment I approached the tree, it got frightened and its vocal cords were suddenly strained. Yes, this was a lost kid and was asking for help. My goodness, it was crying for last two hours. It was a small branch, and the kid was at the end of the branch. There was no way forward and it could not move backward (oops, many of us are in these situations, I think that is the reason I could empathize).
My heart naturally melted. But as it generally happens in such situations, I did not know what to do. I too was helpless. The young one turned on the branch and as if looked into my eyes – was it asking me for help or was it irritated enough with my inaction? ‘Come on baby, slowly move forward and come to the main branch. Don’t worry, if you fall down, I will catch you and you will be safe’ …. I was trying to tell that charming one – (with these emotions and not with these words). But the baby squirrel started shivering and became louder. May be its parents were nearby and were frightened because of my presence.
Animals, birds, trees have a way to approve or disapprove presence of human beings. (Human beings too have, but we have been trained to overlook it – that is called smartness in the human world!) . I stepped back, slowly. The baby squirrel’s shivering stopped. Was it a problem situation or not? I was confused. I stood there quietly for about 10 minutes. I and the baby squirrel looking at each other. I closed my eyes and searched for some instinct. Nothing. I was blank, the squirrel still distressed.
Thoughtfully I moved to the canteen, had a quick bite and within six minutes I was back to the tree. There was silence. No baby squirrel, no shouting, nobody was there. The tree alone was standing there. Till the evening there was no squirrel sound today. What happened to that baby squirrel? Was it playing or was it in pain? Did the mother fetch it up? Or was it unfortunate enough to visit the sky with the kite? Was it a dream? Am I guilty of not taking timely action?
I will never know.*