Image Courtesy of Susan Etole

I’m new to this site.

And as a contributing author, I feel it only proper to introduce myself.

“Hi, my name is Duane Scott… and I have a thing for squirrels.”

I hold out my hand to you, waiting patiently for you to return the hand shake. I notice the subtle cock of your eyebrow, and I see how you glance into my face,  searching for some sign of crazy.

I’m not offended by this precaution you show. In fact, it has become routine to me, and I’ve learned not to fault an individual for being cautious. If I were meeting me, I’d be cautious too.

Slowly, you extend your hand to mine.

“So… squirrels?” You stammer, a half-chuckle emitting from your throat where it’s lodged.

“Ya… squirrels…” My eyes light up.

I can’t explain this fascination they hold over me.

Their eyes, all mischievous.
Their tails, all a-twitchy and poofy.
Their hands, swift yet meticulous.

Yes, God knew what He was doing when He crafted that little animal. I like to imagine Him, sitting in His lab mixing chemicals and fusing bones together. Occasionally, He glances up from His work to watch while the squirrel scampers about, jumping from Adam’s extra rib to the unassembled trunk of an elephant. He smiles then, and whispers, “Duane Scott will like that little guy.”

And all these years later, God hasn’t forgotten.

The other day, on my commute to take a pre-nursing placement test, I was stressed beyond measure, drumming nervously on the steering wheel and frantically rehearsing the elements of the periodic table.  Across the interstate ahead of me, darted a squirrel. I glanced around, and realized nary a tree was in sight.

A grin crept across my face. “What’s he doing out here?”

God knew I needed to relax. He knew I needed a reminder to breathe. And He knew especially, I needed to grin.

Two weeks later, on my drive to work, I hit a squirrel.

The screech of brakes. The sickening thud. A furtive glance in the rear-view mirror. A lump of fur lying on the pavement. A tail twitching in the breeze.

Instantly, I was angry. “Are you kidding. I actually like squirrels!”

“Nice lead foot you got there,” I heard the insidious murmurings of my conscience. “If you hadn’t been in such a hurry, speeding nonetheless…”

I coasted to a slower speed, breathed deeply, and reminded myself that God had a place for squirrels in heaven.

“Yes, I’m Duane Scott… and I have a thing for squirrels.”

I’m also a guy who has this uncanny belief that God cares about every minute detail of our lives, so much so in fact, that He sometimes strategically places squirrels in our days to remind us not to take life too seriously.

It’s a pleasure to meet you.

-Duane Scott


an awkward introduction

by Duane Scott time to read: 2 min