18 May 2009
The poetry of squirrels
There is a fine cadence, a discernible rhythm and, to some extent, even a bit of rhyme to the way squirrels glide through the wild. There's no need to have a well-tuned ear to hear the harmony between squirrels and their trees.
The release of young squirrels back into the woods, after a winter period spent in captive rehabilitation, constitutes a higher order of poetry. It is not the poetry of simple discovery but, in this instance, rediscovery. "Aha," it says, "this is what I was born to do."
Early this morning, we released two of the four young eastern grey squirrels from one of our rehabilitated groups (the next two will be released, I hope, tomorrow). We took them into a beautiful thickly wooded park, opened the hatch and thus said, without words, "welcome home." My hope is that they are quickly becoming the newest rhyming couplet in nature.
Upon my return, I was greeted with some squirrel poetry - the written kind - that also does the species proud. Rachel Fox, an English writer living in Scotland, has penned this fitting tribute to the fleet-footed and, sadly, imperiled little gems of that nation - the red squirrel - and was moved to write these verses after one crossed her path. I share it here, with her kind permission:
It might be about squirrels
(by Rachel Fox)
So loved and treasured
Little red squirrel
So quick and bright
Like a burning jewel in the pine
Your colour is inescapable
Your appeal unmistakeable
Your fate more like debatable