A Case for the Death Penalty?

State V. Homer J. Squirrel


Count 1: Willful Destruction of Private Property (Garden)
Count 2: Terroristic Activity in the Destruction of Food Supplies During a Pandemic
Count 3: Conspiracy to Interrupt Lawful Distribution of Life-Sustaining Food Supplies (Bird Food)

Court: Having been found guilty by a jury of your peers (well, in the imaginary trial I would envision might happen), there remains the penalty. Is the State ready to argue?

State: We are your Honor.

Court: Proceed

State: May it please the court. After a trial of two days, Homer J. Squirrel stands convicted before this court on all counts. I should like to point out to the court that Mr. Squirrel has continued to raid and disrupt the property of the victim and still digs many holes in the garden.

While the State recognizes the legitimate right of the defendant to gather foodstuffs for his own survival — I assume it’s a he, but I haven’t seen his n***, ah never mind—this unrepentant invasion of the garden, this interference with food production in this time of the pandemic, and what we expect will be his raiding of the bird feeder once deployed, will continue unabated.

The only appropriate punishment is execution by firing squad at the next opportunity (or whenever Amazon delivers the BB gun to said Government Executioner.)

The State rests.

Court: Does the defendant have anything to say?

Defense Counsel: We do, your honor. The defendant wishes to speak on his own behalf.

Court: Very well, Mr. Squirrel, please direct your statement to the bench and, if you could, please stop chattering and burying things in your attorney’s briefcase.

Homer J. Squirrel: Your Honor, while I may well stand convicted before you, I must protest the unfairness of the verdict given the prejudice of the jury. This jury of my peers consisted of several dogs, two birds, several rabbits, and a mixture of other creatures who compete with me for the available food in the wilds of Cranston. All are known squirrel haters

What the State failed to tell the court, is the victim has draped what seems to be some sort of force field over the garden, repelling all creatures who dare try to enter the said garden. This field ensnares birds and has proven impervious to any attempt to gain entry, ah, not that I have your honor. Still, word travels fast among us tree-dwellers.

Under these circumstances—I am just trying to live and provide for my brood of babies—I would ask the court to show mercy and sentence me to probation.  Thank you, your honor. (Stenographers note, defendant scampers over several tables on the way back to the defendant’s table.)

Court: We shall leave this in the hands of the people.  The two options are;

  1. Death by Firing Squad (administered at the next moment of opportunity)
  2. Probation with a deferral of death sentence pending any new violations

I leave it in your hands. Comment below Death or Probation, and the consensus will determine this varmint’s future (or lack thereof.)

Watching Death Visit: Two perspectives

The day started as all the other ones. We woke just before the sunrise, ate a small meal, straightened our living area, and prepared to go out to gather provisions.

We headed in a different direction, as he thought we would have more success in an area we had not examined to this point. I was nervous, I do not like new, but he reassured me, and we headed off.

Within a very short time we had gathered more than we had done the whole day prior. Rushing back to carefully store it, we were excited and happy. After several trips back and forth we began storing items in our reserve areas, one can never have enough in the event of bad weather. There are times when you just can’t get out and reserves are necessary.

Having managed to put up an amount that would normally take a week to gather, we had time to relax and enjoy the warming sun.

I ran on ahead, and he followed. Sometimes he would race past and hide. Sometimes, he just followed wherever I led. It was enjoyable.

I ran on, he followed, we came to the edge of the grassy area and I continued on, dashing to the small area before the next expanse of grass and woods. He followed behind. We were happy.

I started to go towards the woods, crossing the hard packed ground, and then, as I stared to run, blackness…….


I was out for my morning walk, on the return trip, listening to my iPod. The podcast was a debate between Christopher Hitchens and the Reverend Al Sharpton regarding Hitchens’ Book “God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”.

Hitchens had just answered a question regarding man’s need for ceremony and rituals.

I noticed two squirrels running along on the opposite side of the road, and then crossing to the center island. I knew with certainty I was about to see death visit.

The car came around the corner, the lead squirrel, as they are want to do, dashed into the roadway, tail raised, and was struck. It briefly waved its paws in the throes of death and ceased moving. I was sorry to see such a thing, not that I am a fan of squirrels but this particular one had not done anything as far I as I knew to warrant such a termination.

What struck me was the reaction of the other squirrel. It peered over the rise of the center island and spied its former companion. It rose on its hind legs and from where I was watching his front paws appeared to be almost folded, as if in prayer, almost ceremonial. He (or she, since I have no way to tell from my perspective) paused a moment, started to return from where he had come, turned around once more as if to reassure himself that the body was unmoving, and headed off.

I suppose every living creature has some manner of dealing with death. Is it ceremonial? I don’t know. But there was something there, in the way the squirrel paused and looked at the other.

Death visits, and demonstrates its ultimate power to those of us watching.

Some people would see meaning in the actions of the squirrel, sorrow for the loss of the companion, sadness in continuing on alone, resignation to the realities of life and death.

I think he was thinking, if there is such a thing as squirrel thoughts, “Great!” More nuts for me!