The branch shook silently as the wind whistled through the oak trees. The little ball of fur jumped to another branch as I pointed the flame-red sight at it. It hopped around a little, found himself a nice, big acorn, and settled on a branch. He gnawed on the nut silently as I sat below, watching, thinking, and most of all, scared. I aimed the tip of the barrel up at the squirrel. I barely tapped the trigger… Kapowwww!!!!
I flinched and turned my head away, hoping to God the tiny creature had dodged the death wielding bullet. It was silent for about three seconds, then all of a sudden…
Thump! I tried to blink back my tears, but it just wasn’t possible. I chucked the BB gun as far as I could throw it and sprinted away sobbing. Wh-why had I taken his life? He didn’t do anything to me, I thought to myself. I ran inside and threw myself down onto the couch and began to soak its cushions with my miserable tears. After about an hour of sobbing, I decided I needed to confront the fear of what had happened. I slowly trudged toward the crime scene. There was just a BB gun… and some blood-soaked leaves. Then there was a rustling in the leaves behind a thick oak tree. I slowly tiptoed to the tree. I let out a loud gasp at what I saw. Lying in the leaves right in front of me was a squirrel with blood dribbling down the side of his head. He was alive… barely. I ran back to the house, grabbed a towel, and sprinted back. I wrapped the towel around the tiny ball of fur. I held him tightly against my chest. It was quite clear I had found my next pet… even if it was illegal. I brought him back to the house. I had no idea how to explain this bizarre situation to my dad. My dad came out the door right at that moment.
“Hey, so… what is that?”
“Well, um, I kind of shot him, but he is still alive, and I feel horrible.”
“Son, you can’t keep that, it’s already half dead anyways.”
“But Dad!” I screeched.
“He’s just suffering; you may as well put him out of his misery.”
“I’m not killing it and neither are you!!!” I bellowed.
“Why did you shoot it?”
“I-I-I don’t know. I usually miss, and now that I hit him I feel terrible.”
“It’s OK, buddy, but he’s really really bad hurt.”
The bullet had literally pierced the poor thing directly in the eye, and it was working its way right into his brain. He would be able to casually stagger around for about three seconds, and then he would start paralyzing in his left side and fall over. He was nearly dead, and there was nothing I could do to save him… He would pass on into his afterlife. I would never forget how monstrous I felt that day.