We were on one of our many trips to Yosemite. Charlie and I were waiting for the bus at the Happy Isles bus stop. We were tossing peanuts to a couple of little squirrels playing close to our seat. We watched them beg for more by standing up on their hind legs and waiting for us to toss more. Charlie got down on his knees to hold his hand out to the squirrels. They came and took the peanuts right out of his hand. When he turned around to look at me his eyes were wide with excitement that he was feeding these tiny creatures. We continued watching while the squirrels played and fought over the nuts like a couple kids would fight over a toy. They were chattering and flipping their tails up and down.
Charlie drew attention to how they’d play for a few seconds, stop stone still for a few seconds, then play again. The squirrels were stuffing the nuts into their cheek pockets when all of the sudden we heard the flutter of wings. We both looked upward just a bit and saw a red-tailed hawk swoop down and grab at one of the squirrels we had been watching. The squirrel rolled and the hawk jumped forward keeping his talons gripped tightly. After a good roll I think the squirrel played dead but instead of leaving it the hawk repositioned himself and took flight with the squirrel tucked tightly against his body.
The play had stopped. The chattering had stopped. Everyone at the bus stop was shocked and quiet. All we could hear now was a horrible screeching, growing fainter, as the hawk carried away the squirrel.
Everyone waiting for the bus looked on in disbelief. Charlie and I looked at one another in disbelief! The remaining squirrel had run into a burrow just a few feet away. He poked his head out and seemed to be looking for his buddy. When he looked in our direction it felt like he was looking right at us. The poor little fellow couldn’t believe what had happened. Neither could Charlie. Neither could I!