The Raven and the Squirrel

By MELINDA DI LORENZO | Published: December 11, 2009

Once upon a time, God said, “Let there be squirrel!” And there was a squirrel. It was small. It was furry. Its tale was bushy in an aesthetically pleasing way. And God saw that it was good.

So shortly thereafter, God said, “Let there be raven.” And so there was a raven. And God saw that it was also good. Though perhaps not as good as the squirrel because the squirrel was cute and fluffy. And ate nuts. And made a cute “clicking” sound when it snacked. The raven was feathered and beady-eyed. It feasted on flesh. But nonetheless, God was pleased.

And so He took a nap.

While God was napping, the raven approached the squirrel. “Squirrel,” he said, “I would like to race.” For the raven believed that if he could beat the squirrel in a healthy competition of some kind, he would win God’s favour.

The squirrel chattered at the raven, and then ate a nut.

The raven took this as acquiescence.

So all the forest animals – winged and furred alike – gathered at the edge of the woods to bear witness to the great race. (There was also a small house cat that had recently been shaved by a small boy with a cruel sense of humour. And a donkey who just happened to be born fur-less – perhaps because God had been napping during his creation, perhaps not.)

A smart-ass wolf that nobody really cared for, but who owned the only working felt pen in the whole woods, drew the start and finish lines.

A group of field mice that slept under a black and white checkered flag lent their bedding to an ill-tempered stag to use as a flag. A chipper red-breasted robin that had earlier maimed a hunter and then stolen his gun donated the pistol to use a starter signal. The raven enlisted an escaped zoo monkey to pull the trigger. The monkey agreed – he had run out of bananas anyway and was bored of throwing poop at passerby.

And so the race began.

Unfortunately for the squirrel, the racetrack crossed a busy logging road. The race had thus far been a close one. But as the two zipped across the road, the squirrel forgot to look both ways. Some say that he looked only to the left, but the raven, which was close enough to see, says that he looked right. Whatever the case, a speeding 1989 Volvo station wagon full of hooting and hollering rodeo clowns (some say twenty of them, others insist it was twenty-two) came barreling up the road at that very instant.

The raven swooped out the way, but the squirrel, not being of the flying variety, was unable to avoid the clown onslaught. Death was inevitable.

The raven crossed the finish line triumphantly, but was later determined by a panel of experts (made up of a hyena who had forgotten how to laugh, a three-legged goat and one of the rodeo clowns) to have forfeited the race by flying. They claimed that the squirrel had agreed only to a footrace and that the raven’s winged escape was clearly cheating.

The raven became angry, and also hungry. He quickly devoured the squashed squirrel, cursed the rest of the animals and then flew of to find solitude atop a non-electrified high wire.

And still, God slept. Because sometimes even His alarm clock doesn’t wake him up, and His mom has to come in with a bucket of water.



1. Shelley brennan on December 14, 2009

Made me snicker. Provided good vivid mind visuals.

2. Shelley Brennan on December 14, 2009

Made me snicker. Also provided vivid mental imagery. Great story. Write another!

3. melindaread on December 15, 2009

I live for snickering.

Any Comments?


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