Squirrel on its feet in Hyde Park London

My Christmas story: The day a squirrel bit me

Honestly, a squirrel! It was at the University park on a cold yet lovely day. The sun was shining, and the atmosphere was crystal clear. I was there with a friend enjoying the scenery, the beautiful English nature.  There is a lake and swans and trees and plenty of squirrels running around. They are used to students visiting so they were not afraid of us.  Lovely English park.

I’m not used to seeing squirrels running around so I was very excited and decided to give them some nuts I had bought for myself. It was a nice big bag full of walnuts, and peanuts and hazelnuts. I put one at the tip of my finger extended my hand and waited. They looked at it rather sceptically, indecisive at first. Until a brave little guy made the first move. Once suitability and tastiness were verified all of them helped themselves from my hand. Lovely creatures.

All was well and everybody was happy until the bag got empty. Party suddenly over! But I didn’t want it to end, and my little brave friend didn’t want it to end either. It  stood there waiting for more. There was no more nuts but I was enjoying the game and so I extended my arm without a nut on my finger. Happy and excited once again, it opened its mouth to grab the nut but failed to sense something crunchy and tasteful. Its teeth grabbed something soft, tasteless and non-detachable, the tip of my finger. Its teeth got stuck either side of my nail and the little guy was more surprised than I was. Pain was far less important than surprise! For a few seconds I was looking at it trying to run away but not being able to. The tiny teeth anchored on my finger. It took e few seconds to realise that it needed to open its mouth widely to free itself. Then it run away, never looking back.

The scene ended with quite some blood coming from my finger and a visit to the local pharmacist for a tetanus shot, just in case.

I have to say this is one of the happiest moments in my life. The interaction with the little guy, the serene environment of the park, the laughs of my friend who couldn’t believe that a squirrel could actually bite a human. Well, it was accidental; the tip of my finger does look like a hazelnut.

I can smell the soil and the trees and the leaves on the ground. They make musical sounds that celebrate the connection to the Earth. The sun is there shining through the branches and the leaves. Humidity is there to protect and nourish the fragility and beauty of English greenery. And I see the main building of the University of Nottingham in the distance. How I wish to go back! How I wish to be the victim of a human-biting squirrel again!

Merry Christmas!

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