Squirrel’s Instant Messaging

I met this squirrel a few years ago in Union Square park on 14th Street, New York City.

I remember that I’d given him the peanut that you see in his nimble hands. He had sniffed it before picking it up and strangely, unlike most squirrels, he hadn’t eaten it yet.

Give the picture a closer look – you might believe he’s looking at you.

Normally, I wouldn’t look at a squirrel with hope that it would deliver me a message. That morning, I hoped.

I’d lost my uncle the previous night in India and that morning, I was to perform in a play at Lee Strasberg. It was the last day of our month-long intensive and expensive acting course.

The tragedy in the family hadn’t stopped me from going to Strasberg, because I knew that if I hadn’t gone, I would’ve upset the departed soul. But I was crestfallen, and unsure if I’d remember my lines from the play.

I’d told my acting teacher about the death. His advice: Give it your best, Mahesh. Let it be a tribute to your uncle.

In the park, the more I’d gazed at the squirrel, the more I’d felt he wanted to tell me something.  And I remember that he hadn’t – until the last glimpse I had of him on my way to the Strasberg building – eaten the peanut.

I performed in the play thinking only about my character. My fellow students applauded the act, and my teacher praised that it was the best tribute I could give.

A few days later, somebody told me that squirrels do come with a message that one should take life a little less seriously. Perhaps the squirrel that morning wanted me to take it easy, demonstrating it by sacrificing his instant urge to eat the peanut.

An actor friend of mine who hadn’t known about my family tragedy linked the squirrel-behavior to indigestion.


Take life a little less seriously is the Panacea (Daily Prompt). Take a Peek (Photo Challenge).

20 thoughts on “Squirrel’s Instant Messaging

  1. Lovely insight, we all can be better people if we can take ourselves lightly and once in a while, even laugh at ourselves.

    I have a very close relationship with my backyard squirrels and I can tell you they care nothing for waiting! So your squirrel was definitely giving you a message!

  2. Hi Mahesh…thanks for visiting my blog and for being interested in following the things I have to say! I was in college and would study on the back deck with a bag of white cheddar popcorn. A squirrel with a blond tail…it looked like he had it bleached at the salon…would sit in the yard and watch me. By the end of the summer he sat right next to my lounge chair…A handful for me…One for Blondie!!! Wish I had paid more attention to what he had to say! Blessitude – Lorrie

    • Hi Lorrie, thanks for writing. Glad you had a moment or two with the squirrel. “A squirrel with a blond tail…it looked like he had it bleached at the salon” – you are funny 🙂

  3. Aww, very poignant significance indeed. Sometimes things happen in life to remind you to just take life a little bit less seriously too…things happen for a reason after all. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it, the memory of the lost one will always linger, no matter how much time has passed. Cheers! 🙂

    • Thanks Sha for your interesting input 🙂 “things happen for a reason after all” – well said. We may not know the reason instantly but time will reason it out for us. I really appreciate your time 🙂

    • The passing of loved ones always leaves us wondering at life’s transience. The squirrel was holding the gift in contemplation – uncharacteristic, as you say, of a squirrel and I would agree. Perhaps it was your uncle for a moment, asking you to pause and appreciate ‘what you hold in your hand’ a little bit longer. From life to any other precious gift (including your acting course perhaps), we tend to move on a bit quickly, given the nature of society and the perceived speed at which we are moving these days. That you offered nurturance to this little creature also speaks to your tender heart, and perhaps it was (also) letting you know it acknowledged this. A blessing either or both ways, to be sure! ❤

      • You write beautifully, my friend. Such a thoughtful comment. Loved it. “That you offered nurturance to this little creature also speaks to your tender heart…” – thanks for the kindness, always. I’m so lucky to have you as a co-blogger. Am blessed. Wishing you lots of happiness 🙂 xo

  4. Mahesh I am very sorry for your loss. It must have taken great strength to do the performance. What a wonderful tribute. It is interesting what the squirrel may have been telling you or what we can take from it. I actually dislike squirrels after they tried to move into our house and were very difficult to evict!

  5. Thank you for sharing that story Mahesh.. Its not easy to carry on when losing someone dear to your heart..
    I believe we are given many messages along our journey, not always at first visible to the eye, but they come in the guises of your squirrel, a book that may open at a certain page.. Music and lyrics being played on the radio.. When we open up and listen and really Look, we then begin to see and hear them within our hearts..
    I believe too your Uncle was telling you to enjoy your play, he was well and fine, and I am sure he was applauding loudly from his standpoint above..
    And a great metaphor we must all take Life less seriously and learn instead to ‘Play’

    Blessings your way my friend and thank you for sharing such insight into your Squirrel encounter

    • “…but they come in the guises of your squirrel, a book that may open at a certain page.. Music and lyrics being played on the radio…” – such precious words of wisdom from you, Sue. Thanks a lot for your detailed comment. Love it! 🙂

  6. Very sorry for your loss, Mahesh. It was very brave of you to continue your part in the play, and your uncle must have been there with you in spirit. That squirrel encounter sounded rather mysterious, out of the ordinary, a random one with quite a bit of significance. You just don’t see these things coming, yet they can hit you the hardest and the memories you will remember for a while. Maybe it did want to tell you to take it easy, or let things be and let you know sometimes we just have to take things one step at a time. Wishing you well.

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