A Squirrel For Christmas

2014-10-26 12.43.38

(This story was written by Mother about her most memorable Christmas.  I think she was probably about 7 or 8 when this story took place.)

The oldest member of our family, my brother John, as a young teenager, trapped muskrats on the Milwaukee River which bordered our farm. The fur from these animals provided him with spending money.

Around noon,on the day after Christmas, he walked into the house carrying a very stiff, motionless squirrel. John had returned from checking his trap line and had found the squirrel caught in on of the traps.  Mother said, “He appears to be frozen.  Put him in the box behind the cook stove.  As soon as you’ve changed your soiled clothes and get warm, you can carry him outside.  Later you can carry it to the garbage dump.

Imagine our surprise when sometime later we noticed movement in the box. The squirrel wasn’t dead after all.  It was just stiff from the cold.

Soon the little fellow was up and about, but his back leg was broken. We carried his box to the Christmas tree.  We felt he’d feel more at home under a real live tree. We added some soft clean rags to his nest and fed and watered him.

Finally he became strong enough to leave the box and scamper up and down the Christmas tree.  His movements shook the tree just hard enough to make the ornamental bells tinkle.  Sometimes he’d venture out on to a brand, chattering and scolding us.  That made us literally squeal with delight.  When he tired of tis activity he’d return to his box, curl up and go to sleep.

We never tired of watching him.  All of had high hopes that his leg would heal enough so he could return to the outside world.

We enjoyed him for 3 days.  One morning when we went to check on him we found his little body stiff and lifeless.

We all felt saddened by this turn of events. That little furry fellow had given us so much pleasure and made that Christmas truly memorable. How many children get to have their very own squirrel for Christmas?

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