Jade swerved hard to the right to avoid striking a squirrel that darted across the street, jumping the curb and nearly crashing into a fire hydrant in the process. In the heart-racing moments that followed she checked her rearview mirror to make sure it was fine, and she saw it upright in the grass – was it saluting her? Jude’s next two weeks were increasingly bizarre. There seemed to be a greater-than-usual abundance of squirrels scurrying around her neighborhood, and if she thought she was crazy for thinking a squirrel had saluted her, then she was completely mad for believing these others were bowing to her. The breaking point came shortly after she witnessed a squirrel jumping and scritching at a murder of crows: they began delivering gifts, small trinkets like rings and tinsel and other shiny objects. If the animal kingdom were a true kingdom, the squirrel she avoided killing was a knight and it owed her an immeasurable debt of gratitude.