24 July 2020

From Vermont, With Love

A global pandemic has brought the world to a screeching, frightening halt. Many of us now live in quarantine, in panic, and in doubt that our lives will never be the same again.

So please, I ask you to take a moment and consider Rocky.

This tiny red squirrel entered rehabilitation care in Vermont last autumn with his very life on the edge. It was questionable whether that life would even go forward properly – or at all. He was in critical condition and only one-third the weight a red squirrel ought to be. In the days that followed, he failed to grow and gain and his tiny body rejected the wildlife formula that was supposed to infuse him with restorative vitamins, the foundation for restarting his life. Only after his caretaker at Four Wands Wildlife discovered that this fragile nursing baby had a lactose-intolerance, and made the necessary adjustments for him, could he begin to take shape as the squirrel he was meant to be.

“Fight like a squirrel,” his caretaker posted on social media, next to his photos – and indeed, true to the name inspired by the boxer of Hollywood legend, Rocky pulled no punches. More legendary perhaps than Sylvester Stallone’s screen role, little Rocky amassed thousands of followers on Instagram and a universe of good will as he fought like a squirrel. Oh, and in case you are wondering, he was declared champion.

Earlier today, the gloves came off. The hatch opened and Rocky touched the dirt of the outside world as if it were an old friend. He cast his eyes high into the trees where his difficult journey had first taken its detour last year. For Rocky, this was as much a reunion as it was a release. He embraced the earth and sky that are his birthright.

So ask Rocky if in our pandemic-shattered midst, the world has begun to turn once again – that is, if you can catch up to him. He fought like a squirrel and now he is living as a squirrel.

As for us, it may take another season or two before we too can open the hatch and fully celebrate a reunion with our own worlds. So please, take a moment and think of Rocky. He runs free for all of us.


Tcgequine said...


Chet Gottfried said...

That, Caryn, is a wonderful heart-warming story at a time when we need such stories. Thank you for posting!

Of course, I'm at an age whenever I hear or see the name "Rocky," I think of Rocky the Flying Squirrel, who is also a pretty good role model.

Unknown said...

Your words stir the soul and give reason to fight the rehab fight....

Unknown said...

Your post gives reasons to carry on and continue fighting for the reds, grays and other colors

Chet Gottfried said...

What a heartwarming and lovely post at a time when we need such posts the most. Thank you, Caryn!

But I do have to say that whenever I see or hear the name Rocky in regard to a squirrel, I automatically think of Rocky the Flying Squirrel.