Tuxedo: a Local Legend

Tuxedo the squirrel

Tuxedo the squirrel

A few years ago, I was delighted to see an opossum in the back yard. What a surprise to find this North American relative of the kangaroo so close to home. We saw the little creature regularly for a few days and then, it disappeared. I feared the worst when I noticed a little animal body, obviously run over by a car, on a nearby thoroughfare. It was our marsupial friend.

On a far too regular basis we encounter raccoons, squirrels or cats who have met the same fate.

You could ease the burden of it by saying “it was a regular outdoor animal, living a regular outdoor animal life and dying a regular outdoor animal death.”

And yet, some of these creatures become a much loved part of our lives.

Here is a letter from Lisa who regularly walks in the natural areas of the city.

“Hi Miles,

 There is a squirrel in my neighbourhood that I have always noticed and loved that is apparently quite famous, as I discovered when I looked it up online.  It is a rare Tuxedo Squirrel, and everyone in the neighbourhood takes pictures of it and posts messages every month relating to sightings–well, I was the one unfortunate enough to discover its body lying across the road just in front of the Sports Field on Sussex before Robert Street, at 11:30 this morning.  I was the one who picked up its still warm body, stroked its fur, and wept over it.”

You can feel the heartbreak in that.
“And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then you shall truly dance.” (Kahlil Gibran)
Rest in Peace little guy. You shall be missed.
Miles Hearn







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