When I saw them scurrying down the steep slope, I remembered the conversation myself and my friend Yetunde had had only thirty minutes earlier when she had exclaimed "Can you imagine the audacity?!"
Sensing the humour behind the question, I had laughed and asked "What is it again?" because she had only just outlined the most ridiculous plan ever to find herself a husband.
"It is these two rats here," she replied hissing, "they are fighting in front of me..."
I had imagined her facial expression, the two tiny things oblivious to their audience and started to chuckle.
"Chase them away naa." I had suggested.
"Ehn, me?" she must have shaken her head because there had been the sound of movement against the phone, "Noooo, before the vex and bite me. You remember what happened to Sylvia when she said the rat in her house threw something at her from on top of the cupboard when she was chasing it?"
So, that was why when I saw the two squirrels hurtling down the steep incline of landscaping near the road, I did not move to stop them; ask them to slow down or point out that it was rush hour and that cars were speeding down the street.
I looked away only for a moment and that was all it took for one of them to launch itself on the street in a bid to get to the other side where the trees were plentiful and filled with nuts and unripe fruit for their possibly famished bellies. It happened so fast. It probably never saw the grey Toyota Corolla coming and I am sure neither did its driver see Brown Squirrel Number II.
It was an excruciating two minutes watching helplessly as the tiny form struggled to hold on to this incarnation, its tiny limbs thrusting out rapidly and furiously in the air as if to grab at the tiny thread that was life itself. What could I do? Nothing. Though not a fan of the pesky critters and always the first to complain how the laws in this country prevented me from indulging myself in some fresh bush meat stew, I still was not hardened in the face of pain.
So, I said to it, "Let Go. Move on. You are done here. May The Blessings Be." And meant it. I hoped it had learned all the lessons it needed to afford it a return into a higher state of consciousness and that it realised that the use of speed while moving should be in combination with caution and good vision.
It must have either heard me, realised what I had said was true or both because its limbs slowed to a still certainty. It had crossed over. Painfully, but over nonetheless.
I looked to see if Brown Squirrel Number I was somehow standing at the roadside, his/her hat in hand mourning the vicious and abrupt passing of their comrade. There was nothing there. God knew what He was doing when He made souls at all different levels. For them, it was all about survival of the fittest.
My bus arrived and I too moved on.