ME AND DOLLY MARIE
True Life Adventures of a Baby Squirrel
In celebration of Dolly Marie
the cutest and most entertaining little critter
that has ever graced our home.
Next, for my daughter, Ali Snow, who
encouraged me to write this story.
Finally, in memory of all the little animals
we have ever fostered and loved.
© 2008 Jan C. Snow
After taking an evening walk to enjoy the fresh air, my husband Jack and I were just rounding the corner of our property heading down the hill to our driveway. In the middle of an intersection in our mountain neighborhood, lying with extremities akimbo, was the smallest, furry, silent creature I had ever come upon. I was heartbroken at the prospect of having to bury another little casualty of this cruel world. It’s my lot in life, you know, to bury, or I should say, have my husband bury every bird that expires from flying into a window, or any other creature that has the misfortune to pass away within the vicinity of my big heart.
“Oh honey!” I said to my husband, “there’s a baby squirrel dead in the road!” I ran over to it and noticed two of the biggest black eyes just staring at me. This little creature was all eyes and hardly any body. Well…I endeavored to pick it up when it began “hissing” at me! I didn’t need to be told that I could be facing a rabid squirrel, abandoned by its mother because of a serious affliction. However I couldn’t just let it stay there where some vehicle could run over it, or even worse, a predator could carry it away! My next tactic was to pick it up by the tail and move it over to the corner into some weeds where it may be somewhat protected from the ravages of nature. This miniature creature put up quite a struggle, trying to bite the fingers that held it by the tail, but I prevailed, and managed to move it over into a more protected area. I’m sure the indignity of it all made it quite perturbed, so I understood the frustration that was thrust upon it at such a difficult time.
Poor Jack, quietly exhibiting a very pained look on his face, said that we should leave it alone and see if the mother returns to retrieve her baby. Knowing full well that I couldn’t stay away long, he took my hand and led me away from the corner. It wasn’t more than an hour or two later when I couldn’t stand it any longer and went to check in on my “patient”. There was the squirrel, lying in the same spot, afraid to move. My heartstrings were being tugged beyond any ability to restrain myself, and the next thing I knew the squirrel was cradled in the front of my blouse! “Sweetheart” I said, we can’t leave it here to die, and I can’t have that on my conscience! With a big sigh, and a half-smile, half-grimace look on Jack’s face, he said I could care for it until it was strong enough to let it go.
Thus began the legacy of Dolly Marie…
(To be continued.)