Once upon a time, in eighth-grade Latin class, our teacher, Mrs. Looney (real name), was trying to tell us about the hardiness of the Spartans. This was before we had Gerard Butler’s abs to do it for us. She told us a story about some kid who, on his way to school, encountered a squirrel. He started to play with it (which is maybe something squirrels tolerated in Spartan times), then realized he was running late. The solution, of course, was for him to put the squirrel in the pocket of his smock/poncho/toga and continue on.
I don’t know if the dude’s pockets had zippers or what, but apparently the squirrel was trapped and began to panic during the school day. The kid sensed the animal’s panic, but didn’t want to interrupt class, so he just sat there, pretending nothing was happening. If things weren’t dubious enough already, Mrs. Looney’s tale wound up with the squirrel eating through the poncho and then into the boy’s stomach, ultimately killing him.
The reason I mention this—aside from a sincere desire to share historical trivia with you—is that I now think of that squirrel every time the baby moves. I imagine that there is a panicked squirrel kicking my ribs, or nosing my belly button, and that somehow he has been trapped there for seven months, growing ever more impatient. Maybe when the time comes, it won’t be a dark-haired little girl but a wet, frazzled squirrel who emerges into the birthing tub. I will earn millions selling my story (and video), and fundamentalists across the globe will declare it yet another sign that lesbians should not have children.