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It is not what you think

August 25, 2012

It was Saturday early evening. The owner of the female squirrel had brought my new friend to visit Zebe. They were both in the living room in their cages enjoying each other’s company. The three of us were talking and not expecting anyone. Then, we heard a somewhat hard knock on the door. We looked through the peephole and we saw two young men standing there. They were nicely dressed but they did not look familiar.

When we adopted Zebe, we thought we were doing something nice. We soon discovered that there were laws. The owner of the female squirrel tried to release her pet in her backyard but her pet kept coming back. We accidentally left the entrance door open quite a few times. There was a palm tree in front of our balcony. Other than smelling the air a little, Zebe couldn’t care less about that tree.

When talking about the laws, we felt it would be inhumane to force the squirrels to live where they did not want to live. Both had been raised by humans and apparently, they felt comfortable and happy where they were. Being thrown into the “doing what is morally right versus what is legally right” conundrum felt like a cruel joke. We knew we couldn’t talk about or show our new family members to anyone.

Back to the knock on our door, we quickly hid both cages. We opened the door and one of the young man asked: “Can I see the squirrel?” We froze! We might have had a puzzled look on our faces as the young man explained he was in the other building when he saw a squirrel in our bedroom window….  Zebe! One of us picked up the stuffed squirrel we had given Zebe as a toy and handed it to the guy. It was his turn to look puzzled. There were two other guys waiting for them downstairs and they started to make jokes. The one who had seen the squirrel said: “…it looked so real…” They soon left and we felt bad but in order to protect the squirrels we had to play the “it is not what you think” game.


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