"The Squirrel Joke"....for better or worse...
I missed a squirrel this morning.
Not that I was aiming at it. But I'm glad I missed it.
I was taking a healthly swig of luke-warm Elixir, (that's "Laodicean" coffee, for those of you following in the King James Version), when a squirrel darted across the street. I don't know if younger squirrels do that for the rush or what, but it was almost a "Final Chapter/Call The Highway Department To Scrap Me Up" moment.
It's hours later. I'm now sitting here safe at home, finishing off the final cup of Elixir before collapsing into bed. And I'm remembering that squirrel.
And "The Squirrel Joke".
The Squirrel Joke was a big hit for a couple of days on the playground circuit back in 6th Grade before it disappeared like an one-season sitcom.
But I still remember it. And I'm willing to share. Even if I shouldn't.
"Sam crawled up into the abandoned tree house. He looked out the glass-less window at the back of the dilapidated old house barely visible through the woods.
He heard a scurrying sound. He turned quickly. There in the doorway was a squirrel, standing still, staring at him. Sam stared back. Another scurrying sound and a second squirrel, twice as big as the first one, jumped in through the door. It froze when it saw Sam. It leaned in toward the smaller squirrel and, to Sam's amazement, talked to it.
"What's this doin' here?", it growled in a high voice.
"Dunno. It was here when I got here."
Silence. The small one shrugged.
"Whadda we do wit it?"
"Let's wait 'til Mikey gets here. He'll know what to do."
A scurrying sound. Another squirrel hopped through the door. This one was twice the size of the second one. It stopped and cocked its head.
"Why is this here?"
"Dunno." "No clue."
Silence. The biggest one looked at the other two.
"Wait until Mikey gets here. He'll know what to do."
(Author's note: this joke was tailored to the interest and attention span of 6th Graders, (especially the girls). As a professional courtesy, and to save the reader any undo angst and stupor, there are 2 to 4 more squirrels, each twice the size of the last, who have the same assessment of the situation.)
Sam heard a loud thud on the thick branch outside. The other squirrels, now almost filling the treehouse, moved away from the door. A huge furry head and a set of thick shoulders filled the doorway as the squirrel stared intently at Sam. Its voice was deep and raspy.
"What's this doin' here?".
"Dunno." "Just got here." "Beats me."
All the brown eyes in the treehouse stared at Sam in silence before the deep, raspy voice spoke again.
"Wait 'til Mikey gets here. He'll know what to do."
Suddenly the ground began to shake as the tree house trembled. The rhythmic thud of footsteps stopped. The last squirrel moved aside as one massive unblinking brown eye filled the doorway. A voice like thunder boomed out.
"Dunno." "No clue." "Beats me"
The smallest squirrel chirped.
"So whadda we do?"
The huge eye blinked once followed by the thunderous voice.
"We'll wait 'til Mikey gets here."
And that's The Squirrel Joke. Yeah. Sorry.
But the Elixir has this "joke", (only if you smiled...otherwise, uh, let's use "story"...), relating to two words that show a process, a direction of movement.
"Better" and "Worse".
Things just keep on movin' , don't they?
Things get better. Things get worse.
Another swig of the Elixir smacks me with a suddenly sobering thought.
Oh, man. I never........wow......
There are two more words. Words that stop the growing. Stops the moving. Words of finality.
"Best" and "Worst".
Nothing goes beyond those words.
Another swig, another word. Huh. There's one word that ushers in Best and Worst. The only word that can bring them into play.
"Death". The death of an idea. The death of an opportunity.
The death of me and you.
Everything stops there.
Better and Worse end at Death. Then there's only Best and Worst.
According to The Book nothing else can be added, one way or the other.
The Book explains it in the story of the beggar and the rich man. The beggar, as his name suggests, was definitely having a bad time. And it was just getting worse. The rich man was having a great time. And it was just getting better.
Death showed up. And their lives immediately became Best and Worst.
The beggar, due to his choice in life, ended up with Best. Even though his life had been awful, the beggar chose Him, even as life got worse. And Death made his choice final. Forever.
The rich man ended up with Worst. Even though life was good and getting better, he chose to reject/ignore/dismiss Him. And Death cut his choice in stone.
Someday, for me...and for you...Death, like Mikey, will eventually show up to seal our choice.
For Best or Worst.
Not really a joking matter, is it?