It's funny what grief can do to people, particularly when it's grief over an animal. Grief softens the hard edges of human society. Grief blurs the distance between the animal and human worlds.
Grief leaves a wanting that won't go away.
This is how a small town in Surrey, England is in mourning. A week ago the people of the town lost something rare and much-loved - a white squirrel the townsfolk had adopted and named Snowy - when, in a tragic act of fate that befalls so much wildlife, he died after being struck by a car.
So deep and sorrowful was this town's communal cry that the BBC noted it in its daily news report.
"A little light has gone out," said the local woman who arranged for the squirrel to be buried in the yard outside the local church. She said Snowy deserved a final rest with dignity. The squirrel's death, she added, "has taken some magic away from our lives."
She may be wrong about that, however: For a town to grieve as this one does for a squirrel, and for a sacred space to be reserved in a church yard for an animal who lived with such grace and beauty - and who inspired such love and loyalty - is magic too.
A spritely little light may have indeed been snuffed out by a careless driver in a small British town, but Snowy's existence, however brief, burns brightly still for all who remember and will share his story from this moment forward. And for all who may visit his grave.
The magic lives on.