Our dog finds a newborn squirrel. Brings it to me held in his mouth undamaged, dewy, breathing. Logan gently relents, drops the wet youngling in my hand and trots off as if he’s done something to be proud of and eats some Georgia grass. I find the furry nest bunched into leaffall. Nervous scurrying nearby, so I plant the kid in the pungey pocket and take slow long steps back up our yard. I call for Logan and give him a treat inside. By the back window I observe the rescue. Mother squirrel approaches, sniffs about, inspecting. I believe there may be a question if she’ll take her baby back. Is it even hers? Is that a her? What have I done to this poor animal? What have I done to interfere in nature’s ways?
The mother takes the child. All is well. I pour a beer.
Later, a clip of Laurence Olivier in The Jazz Singer tearing his coat.
I jab a note to my son: Hey, Papo. Did you try that Chinese Cuban place? I write: Nature’s consequence is beautiful and cruel. I write: I am your father for all time. I write: Please don’t ever fear telling me anything. I write: That you were once afraid is natural. I write: I am forever grateful that what is natural can sometimes be overcome. I write: Your path is yours to pave. I’ll always give you whatever you need. I write: Here are my hands, my heart, my every first start to the last.
I erase all of that up to the Chinese Cuban place because I really want to know.