Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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An Obituary for Harold

Posted by Ben Erlichman on October 13, 2011

Harold Poofenstein

Harold Poofenstein, a gray squirrel, lived his life perpetually scampering just out of risk’s grasp.

When Poofenstein leaped from one branch to another in the tall tree he called his home, risk chased his poofy gray tail, ever anxious to see him slip and fall to his doom. Risk found Poofenstein in an open field when he dodged the talons of a hungry hawk while gathering food. Risk even failed to do Poofenstein in while he barreled through the back yard of an NRA family, whose children almost never ceased firing their BB guns at anything that moved.

But on Tuesday the 4th of October, risk finally caught up with Poofenstein, this time in the form of a bright red 2002 Ford Escape.

Fresh off his lunch break, Poofenstein approached the street from the west side with confidence and abandon, just as he approached life itself, friends say.

“Harold was a maniac sometimes,” said Mitch Featherby, a black crow and one of Harold’s closest friends. “I mean, we used to party behind grocery stores and restaurants, looking through their dumpsters for tantalizing morsels late at night, but that was nothing compared to Harold’s antics in busy city streets.”

A red Ford Escape, like this one, struck and killed Poofenstein near the intersection of Green Bay and Mill Road in Glendale, Wisconsin on October 4th.

Witnesses say that near the intersection of Mill Road and Green Bay Road in the city of Glendale, Wisconsin, Poofenstein sprinted into the street as the Ford Escape approached.

“He did that sort of thing all the time,” Featherby said. “I’m pretty crazy myself sometimes, but hey, I’ve got wings. Harold just didn’t know his limits. That’s what I admired about him the most.”

“He just ran out there. Didn’t stop to look both ways. Didn’t listen for cars,” said witness Donovan McFluffy, a cottontail rabbit. “The sound of the impact was one of the most sickening things I’ve ever heard. And that’s saying something, because I’ve got forty-seven kids back at home with Mrs. McFluffy.”

At approximately 11:55am, the southbound Ford Escape struck Poofenstein while traveling at approximately 40-45 miles per hour, somewhere between five and ten miles over the speed limit.

“He almost made it across,” said McFluffy. “I thought he had it there for a moment, but he never cleared the driver’s side tire.”

“Sure, the driver was probably speeding,” said Grip Serpentino, a garter snake who also witnessed the accident. “But that squirrel was pretty dumb for just running out there. I’m not saying he deserved what he got, but consequences have actions, you know?”

Poofenstein’s family wants answers.

“How is it that my son can get hit by a truck that size and no one in Glendale so much as lifts a paw to see that justice is served?” said Joyce Poofenstein, Harold’s mother. “I know it was a human driving, but still. It was a hit and run. Period.”

“Someone should do something about these drivers,” said Dirk Poofenstein, Harold’s father. “The city of Glendale ought to lower speed limits, or put more police out to enforce them, or something. How many more squirrels have to die before someone takes action?”

Reflections in Hindsight attempted to contact Glendale’s Department of Human/Animal Relations, but never received a call back. We later learned that Glendale does not have a Department of Human/Animal Affairs.

“Well, they should have one,” said Mrs. Poofenstein. “These kinds of tragedies can’t keep happening to the animal community with no recognition from the human race.”

Poofenstein was almost two years old when he died, a mature age for any squirrel.

“So what if he still lived at home with his parents, never really did well with the lady squirrels, and routinely raided public restroom trashcans for discarded food?” said Featherby. “Harold was an inspiration to all who knew him. He flirted with danger every waking moment of his existence. He went out there, grabbed the world by its nuts, and took no prisoners. He died as he lived: a leader, a hero, and now a legend. He was my friend.”

The World's Nuts

Poofenstein is survived by his parents, Joyce, 3, and Dirk, 4, several cousins and extended family, and a host of friends who will always remember him for his daring escapades.

Public memorial services will be held by the bubblers in the southeast corner of Kletsch Park in Glendale on Friday, October 14th, 2011. The family asks that all donations in Poofenstein’s name be given to the Wisconsin Humane Society or to the City of Glendale Glendale Parks and Recreation Department.

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4 Responses to “An Obituary for Harold”

  1. Priceless.

  2. This is hilarious! But, (forcing the smile off my face), charges really should be pressed against that red Ford Escape…:-)

  3. This is hysterical, Ben. Okay, confession time: at approximately 4:45 p.m. last Saturday, I was driving our blue minivan on a neighborhood street. I saw – let’s call him Mr. Squirrel – on the side of the road, his little paws holding onto an acorn, indecision in his eyes. Yeah, right. I slowed, and then braked hard as I saw him dart out into the street. Halfway across, he paused, darted back from whence he’d come, and then, inexplicably, turned tail and headed straight for my car. I was still moving, but slowly, inching along. I braked hard again, closed my eyes and winced, thankful no other car was behind me. I waited for the inevitable…thump. You know the kind. I waited a minute and then slowly proceeded forward. No Mr. Squirrel flattened or crumpled in the road. Breathing a sigh of relief, I attempted to calm my pounding heart and went on my merry way. Whew! Your post helped put it all in perspective. And I’m so thankful Mr. Squirrel lived to get his acorns on yet another day. Blessings!!

  4. Goodbye, Harold Poofenstein. You’ll be missed.

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