A Saturday afternoon in July, and I'm meditating on a bench in the Botanic Gardens. An old woman is sitting by herself on a nearby bench. I hear a movement, look, and see a squirrel climbing behind her. I'm about to warn her, but she takes a piece of food out of her bag and offers it to the squirrel, who eats it out of her hand.
She sees me watching, laughing.
"A dae that aw ra time," she says. "They know me. They know they better no bite me, or A'll no gie them anything. They're no daft."
I tell her I moved back to Glasgow five months ago, after 29 years away, and that I never saw squirrels here back in those days.
"A never used tae see any afore A retired," she says."Then A started comin here every day, an A got tae know them."
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dogo barry graham
author, poet, journalist, zen buddhist monk in glasgow. socialist, for scottish independence.