I found a black squirrel in the yard which had died overnight. I thought it was the shadow of a tree but on closer inspection it turned out to be a beautiful black squirrel. I didn’t see any injuries on it, so I assume it was because of frost.
I buried it at the spot where it passed. I thought of the Baha’i faith and how its members need to be buried within an hour from the spot where they die. I saw no reason to bury the squirrel in the usual shared burial spot I have made for mice and birds that get caught by my cat. Since it was larger it felt special.
I put rich compost on top and marked the spot with a stick for future reference (so as not to dig there until next spring). I had to cut up some landscaping fabric left by previous landowners which would have blocked decomposers from coming up to do their work.
It seems that squirrels have such numbers because they can die from freezing in the winter.
If this one had a name I’d call it Shadow since that’s what I thought it was when I saw it.