Our new neighbor

Last week we had a visitor, one I did not think we would ever see again. It came in the form of a pure white squirrel.

“I know I left it here.”

Two months ago, this creature bounced around our backyard while I made my breakfast. At first, I thought it was a rabbit and was amazed at how white the fur was on a muddy day. But then the animal swished its long fluffy tail and ran up the tree. In complete awe of the squirrel that looked as if it had been dipped in snow, I wasn’t sure what to do. Stand and appreciate it, or rush for my camera?

I thought about the symbolic (animal totem) meaning of squirrel. Then I remembered the fully charged battery in my Nikon.

Symbolism could wait until I got my zoom lens.

“Really? More photos?”

I noticed the other squirrels ran from the white one like rats leaving a sinking ship. Unlike the obnoxious human (me) in her bedroom slippers in the mud, they wanted to keep a good distance.

But now the other squirrels seemed to be okay with their bright buddy. Some even played chase with it up and down the trees. Maybe over the last two months they saw that this squirrel was no different than they were, except easier to spot (and stalked by the human with bad morning-hair).

“Some privacy please”

After googling white squirrels (that’s just fun to say), I found they are indeed rare because of low occurrence and their beautiful coat. See The Wild Classroom.

Unlike the lovely brown squirrels who blend in with their environment, this glow-in-the-dark mammal might as well have a lighthouse beacon on its back for hungry hawks and other birds of prey. Because of that, they don’t have a long lifespan and therefore do not leave behind as many cute babies to carry the gene.

I realized that this precious creature will not grace our backyard for years to come like so many other squirrels (including the one that ran in the doggie door and made my husband scream like a 5-yr-old girl).

Crow totem meets new squirrel

Like winter snow, this unusual squirrel appeared out of nowhere, making the landscape seem more alive, only to fade away as quickly as it came (that is, if you live in the South).

So what is my point in this squirrel appreciation post? I suppose to step back and appreciate differences when we see them and maybe even wonder why they offer us a different view than we are used to seeing in our own backyard.

Written on March 15th, 2013 , Uncategorized Tags: ,
Debbie Emory

Writing humorous fiction infused with death, dysfunction, and dads.