I just spent a few minutes watching a couple of pairs of squirrels in action. At first, I just saw one. He/she was lying belly down on what was presumably a cool concrete ledge. My first thought was "Awww, how cute. It's resting." But then my thoughts raced, as they will on a Wednesday afternoon, to "What if it's sick or hurt? That squirrel is dying." Then I noticed the other squirrels, three of them, doing busy squirrel things. I thought, "Jesus. They're doing some sort of squirrel funeral rites. Preparing for the passing from one life into the next. How sad. How exciting. I' don't think anyone has ever observed this type of behavior in grey squirrels before."
Then, of course, two of the squirrels began to fight or flirt or whatever. One was chasing the other all up and down this flimsy branch. I thought we were going to have another death on our hands. All of the squirrels started to make hostile little squirrel noises and running around like mad... including our little sick friend, who must not have been sick at all! He jumped right up, bounded over to a pine, claws first, and begin to climb and chitter. The assaulted squirrel escaped to the rooftop. The assailant laid down, belly flat, on his branch and breathed deeply. No one died.