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You are so vain

October 2, 2012

We learned there are two baby squirrel  seasons in a year. They run from the end of February to the beginning of May and from the end of September to the beginning of December. We were in the middle of the year and there were no squirrels to be adopted. We let Zebe know we were looking to get him a friend, preferably a girlfriend, as he was then a teenager in squirrel years. We already knew squirrels do not reproduce in captivity so whatever the gender, they were to be best friends. I told Zebe he needed to wish harder for a squirrel buddy. I asked him if he knew how to meditate or how to materialize wishes. I got an inquisitive stare in response.

In the meantime, we had to keep it interesting by playing different games with him. Zebe  was mighty curious; he would inspect all the bags we brought from the grocery store and he would point out to what he wanted. When talking to us, we would stand on his two hind feet and he would walk like a human. We felt almost hypnotized by him; he was so cute to look at and so much fun to be with we had to remind ourselves we needed to earn a living. We conceded we had become members of the LWSEN (Lunatics Watching Squirrels Eating Nuts). If we got another squirrel just like Zebe, we knew we would be in serious trouble. One evening, we tried to play a little trick on him.

We got one of those long mirrors and placed it on the floor, against the back legs of a chair. When Zebe saw his reflection, he started the cautious dance: he lowered his body to the carpet and stretched his tail all the way to his head. He started taking short and fast steps, some towards his image, some to the sides and some going backwards. His all fluffed up tail kept changing sides as he moved. The “dance” went on for four minutes. When Zebe got his nose close to the glass, he smelled it. He quickly moved away from it and then proceeded with the cautious dance once again but this time, he moved a little faster. When he got close to his reflected image, instead of inspecting it, he walked around the chair to check what was behind that mirror. From that day on, Zebe seemed to prefer to groom himself in front of one.

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