fiction

White Squirrel In A Gray Squirrel World

white squirrel eatingYou think you’re invisible sometimes. You can be shoulder to shoulder with them, munching on some acorns or digging up a flower bed to find a food stash. It’s like they are looking right through you.

I never get chased around the trunk of the big oak tree and I certainly would never dare to chase one of them around the trunk. Talk about being sciurus non grata, it is not easy being a white squirrel in a gray squirrel’s world.

It’s not my fault. It’s just an accident of birth. I’m not an albino squirrel – you know the ones with pink eyes? They have it even worse. I was just born with a white tail and mostly white hair all over. There are a few patches of gray on my head and back, but trust me, I never get mistaken for a gray squirrel.

Even when I’m minding my own business, having lunch on a limb, pedestrians will stop and stare at me. They point and gesture and seem totally amused that a white squirrel would be up in a tree eating an acorn. It almost makes be go all Shakespeare on them. You know, “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh….ya-da-ya-da-ya-da.” But I’m not looking for revenge. I just want to be accepted for who black squirrel eatingI am. A gray squirrel in a white squirrel suit.

The solitude that comes from being different is almost more than I can bear. You would think I would be used to it after four or five seasons, but the sting of discrimination never fades away. I yearn for the camaraderie the others enjoy. The way they can come back to the nest and talk about their day. How they crossed the street by going over on the telephone wire and how exciting that was. Or how they almost were run over by a man machine and would have been crushed under the black things if they had not turned back at the last second. Or how they found a huge acorn stash in the rose beds that they had totally forgotten was there. These things have happened to me as well, but there is no squirrel with whom to share these highs and lows.

I did see my first black squirrel the other day. He looked like Wile E. Coyote after grabbing on to a high voltage wire. Coal black from head to toe. You would think that we have something in common, what with being outcasts because of our color. But you would be wrong. Sometimes these things aren’t as simple as black and white.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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