A Squirrel's Story
Updated: Jun 2, 2020
This one time I was bit by a squirrel in Canda.
I’ll explain as I take us back to the summer I spent in Malibu, Canada. I staffed and lived at a summer camp in 2011. My days consisted of working in the kitchen for about nine hours and doing behind the scenes stuff for the campers at night. Basically, I was nameless and faceless, learning to serve others, and discovering myself through the process. While residing in Canada I was taken away from my ordinary life due to no cell reception or wifi. It was brilliant. My soul needed to be reunited with nature in a forest in Canada with no contact with the outside world. One day I woke up, congregated with Kathleen who also never attended breakfast thanks to our afternoon shift in the kitchen. We read a daily devotion together, talked, drank coffee and then walked into the kitchen right on time. The day seemed ordinary, until the moment Scott, a worker doomed to dish pit, walked in and changed my camp fame for life. Before I inform you of his destiny changing words I must inform you of a camp tradition that had taken place for some time now.
Esteban was a squirrel. Esteban loved stealing food from the back room in the kitchen. The kitchen staff had one single objective for the summer: to capture Esteban. Few people had had face to face encounters with him, but they believed a full surrender of the squirrel’s motives were nearing.
Who would have guessed that the casual kid from small town eastern Washington, who is still uncertain of how she landed this job, would accidentally be the one to step into this long devised plan and fulfill it.
Back to that causal day two, when you work at camp days are ran by numbers not days of the week. It could have been my fourth or fifth week there, but all I could remember was that we were on day two schedule. It began like any normal day two, Scott walks in the back door before entering the main part of the kitchen. At the back door there is a small room that contains a washer, dryer and a few other housekeeping items, it is separated from the main kitchen by a wall. As Scott walks past the small room into the main kitchen I am the first person he runs into cutting lettuce on the back cutting table. A bit stunned he points into our laundry room saying a squirrel just ran in. In the middle of my cutting I stop what I am doing and casually respond,
“Oh, it’s just Esteban.” Without thinking I proceed to go back to the small room on the other side of the wall divider on a mission. Immediately I spot him, Esteban, on the garbage can, staring at me. I approach with minimal caution, because I was expecting to just scare him out of the kitchen. The next series of events happened before I could even realize what I was doing. I neared the garbage can in the back corner, Esteban, not moving a muscle, is sitting on the lid. I reach out to swat him, but instead manage to take hold of him with my hand! Shocked I look down at a rabid squirrel that is equally as shocked to be in my hand. Squirming like a madman, he finally positions himself and takes a nice chomp on my hand. As the pain and realization that Esteban just bit me moves from my finger to my mind I involuntarily react by throwing him at the wall that is shared with the main kitchen. Caught up in my own world of confusion I barely hear the screams from the other side of the kitchen reacting to the squirrel that was just flung through the air smashing into the wall. In a swirl, I enter into the kitchen to see my manager screaming and freaking out. As I attempt to wash my bloody hand she rushes me to the Nurse, who admits she had never seen a scenario like this before. I then had to call my mother on an emergency phone to ask if I had had my tetanus shot. I had. I was not going to turn into a rabid squirrel—thank goodness. How would I have explained that I went to Canada and came home with rabies?
Long story short I was famous around camp within minutes. I went from a nameless, faceless kitchen slave to that girl that got bit by a squirrel. From this scenario even in all its obscurity I learned to not seek fame for one’s self, but if you are to become famous a squirrel will probably come into where you are and find you or opportunity, or chance. Something will come knocking when the time is right. As I live obediently and pursue truth daily I can trust that the big things will come into play if I am walking out my purpose. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others,” Philippians 2:3-4. To be serving others is the best place to be. I don’t think we need to be afraid to ask the universe for the big things, but don’t be discouraged if all you can see is dishes in the backroom. You still matter. Trust with everything you have and serve others. When your squirrel of fame arrives you’ll know, be patient every step of the way. The best part of all of this was when I returned home and told my father about the whole ordeal, his response, “That happened to me once!” I am my Father’s daughter.