On the eve of Thanksgiving, this is for the reddish-tinted mother squirrel who comes to our back door, sits on the door handle, and peers in with those beautiful, high-powered eyes of hers until our door opens and the pecan feast is dispensed, much to her liking.
This is for the little gray female squirrel nearly torn apart last autumn by a predator, who came into my care, healed slowly with the help of a determined veterinarian, and was released into the wild this past spring.
This is for "Stevie Wonder," a squirrel born with no eyes nearly 8 years ago, who can never go back to the trees, but still thrives unaware that he is somehow different.
This is for "Snaggletooth," the adult female squirrel in our yard who was a regular visitor and lived a good life despite the huge incisor growing oddly through the front of her face.
This is for "Mister Tilty," who is rotund and off balance but can scrap run like the wind - and holds his own at back-door begging with the rest of them.
And this is for the three young squirrels in the pre-release pen outdoors who are here today only because three strangers bothered to halt their lives long enough to notice at the suffering on the ground by their feet - and decided to do something about it.
This is for all of them, and all the others. Rest assured, not a single one is grateful.
And rest assured - rest very assured - that does not matter to me in the least.