Life & Death in the Public Garden

Last weekend I made a quick trip to Boston for my friend JoAnn’s Fall Party (more on that later…) As per usual, I found myself back in the Boston Public Garden where the following murder scene had only recently taken place. A squirrel, face down in the grass, had died – or, more likely, been killed. Nearby, other squirrels chattered and ran about excitedly, agitated and bothered for reasons obvious and less so.
A few moments later, I saw why. At the edge of the pond, a badelynge of ducks squawked and broke ranks with a disruptive splash, and from the midst of them a hawk swooped through, almost gripping a squirrel in its talons before alighting on a nearby branch. Here, then, was the Fall Hawk – I’d been waiting since the start of summer to see some sort of closure from its predecessors in upstate New York. It sat menacingly above me, preening itself and keeping its keen eyes focused on all the activity below.
I looked around for the squirrel that got away, and at the others that now sent out warning clucks of danger, not that there would be anything I could do if the hawk were to spot one of these rascally creatures and zoom in on it. I’d always thought of the Boston Public Garden as one of the safer spots for a city animal to live. It seems it’s just as precarious as any other.
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