7:15 AM Saturday, 31 degrees farenheit
I leave my house to walk eight-tenths of a mile to the coffee shop and bakery to meet my co-room mom to make plans for the upcoming harvest party for our third grader’s class.
Though I cursed my alarm clock ringing on a Saturday morning, I was happy to be up and out walking in the brisk fall morning.
Leaves cover the landscape in a blanket of gold, red and brown. The air is crisp. The sun has not yet crested the South Hill. Squirrels are hyper-active, preparing for winter, foraging food and running around in pairs. I wonder if fall is mating season for squirrels.
Almost to my destination, I pass a three to four foot high rock wall and startle some squirrels. They rustle in the bushes as I walk past then WHOOSH, one squirrel leaps to the sidewalk behind me, so close to me that I feel his movement as he passes. At the same time, WHOOSH, another squirrel leaps to the sidewalk in front of me, so close that I thought he was going to jump on me.
Startled and fearful that I was under squirrel attack, I yell out “AGH!”
Unsure of what just happened, I failed to notice that the elevation sidewalk in front of me popped up from a tree root, a common Spokane sidewalk hazard. Within seconds after the squirrel attack, my left foot tripped over the sidewalk. Disoriented from the squirrel savages, I could not regain my footing. Momentum pitched me forward like I was sliding into home plate. No home run, only ice-cold concrete scraping into my hands and knees as I landed hard.
I laid on the sidewalk for a moment to assess the damage. Nothing seemed to be broken and I was thankful that I didn’t ricochet my chin or forehead off the concrete. I was also thankful that there were no witnesses, other than my psychotic squirrel friends.
I picked myself up and limped to the bakery, extremely in need of my first cup of coffee for the morning. Yes, all this and I haven’t had coffee yet.
My right knee is skinned from bottom to top and makes my boys squirm when they see it. Ouch. My left knee isn’t a pulverized mess but is bruised and more stiff than the right. Ouch. My left hand is scraped, and my brand new workout gloves are shredded. Ouch and damn. The front of my down jacket was shredded and white fluff was flying out as I walked along. This I’m actually ok with because I wanted a new down jacket but couldn’t justify the purchase. This is not how I wanted to get a new jacket though.
Meeting my co-room mom for the first time, I was quite a sight.
After our meeting, I limped home. Up hill. My husband asked what was wrong. I showed him my wounded knee. The mistake I made in answering his what and how questions was starting the story with “I was attacked by squirrels.” He was concerned but had a good laugh.
The boys were grossed out and though they could appreciate my squirrel attack story, I had no nursemaids.
The only sympathy I received was from the grocery store checker who asked how my day was going as he rang up my groceries. I started the story the same way with him as I did with Vince. “I was attacked by squirrels.” The checker told me his recent experience how one squirrel jumped so close to his head that he ducked and cracked his head on the door of his truck.
Squirrels are crazy right now, people, proceed with caution.