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  • “That squirrel has a peanut!” my wife will say when she sees one with one. And she means it, too—pointing, condemning. It upsets her because … well, I’m not really sure why. Something to do with people making food available to animals that they’re not supposed to eat is my guess. The wrong kind of nut.

    She can spot a squirrel with a peanut from a block away, and she spots a lot of them. It bothers her more than when they vandalize jack-o’-lanterns, quite literally defacing them.

    The squirrels don’t seem to care much either way about being called out. But if we’re too close when she does it, they’ll put some space between us and them just the same. Maybe they think she’s going to try to take it from them. Maybe they’re right.

    Good thing she’s not with me tonight on my ride home.

    Squirrels do this weird thing when faced with a bike bearing down on them as they’re trying to cross the street. They cut back and forth, trying to confuse you like you’re a predator. It works. You can’t try to avoid them because you don’t know which way they’re going to go, and you need to be quick with the brakes because sometimes they’ll cut right under your wheel at the last second.

    Which is exactly what happens here on Glenwood. The little gray guy jukes east and west in front of me as I slow down, and like any good smuggler, from Han Solo to Bill McCoy to—okay, no, not Glenn Frey—he jettisons his cargo and makes a run for it. I veer to the right and just miss running over the worst nut of all for tree-dwelling rodents: a glazed Dunkin’.

    Don’t ask me where he scored that.

    My wife would be happy at cheating him of something that’s undoubtedly bad for his health, but I feel sort of guilty and look back over my shoulder. Sure enough, he’s watching for traffic, headed back for the booty.

    He’s happy that he’s not dead. I’m happy that he’s not dead. And, to be candid, that I won’t have to clean blood and icing off my tire and fender.

    We’re all happy except my wife, judger of squirrels. But only if I tell her.

    Which I’m going to.

    I’m pretty sure it was chocolate.

    Image credit: Squirrel via Flickr under the Creative Commons License (http://www.flickr.com/photos/genista/199692175/)
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