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Published on Apr 2, 2009
She's visited the garden for years. She was the dominant female squirrel in the area, now, old age has taken its toll on her and she's not the fighter or entertainer she once was. Today she chose to come and say one last farewell. She isn't looking her best these days, she can't clean herself as she would like to, she's got problems eating anything, her eyesight is fading, her fear is diminishing, her hearing isn't so good either and her energy has faded. Yet, stare into those eyes and it's the same delightful squirrel who would be so cheeky as to try and attract your attention for food - even if you deliberately avoided her, she'd make any amount of attempts to get my attention - and of course, she always won. She allowed me to stroke her today, nose to tail.... something that, in the past, I'd only been allowed brief touches of her fur but more especially her tail. Those eyes, they've seen far more than you or anyone else will ever be privvy to... we can only sit here and guess as to what a squirrel sees in its lifetime. Half-Tail will be missed and this is the last video I have taken of her - her breathing is raspy and shallow. There's no cure for death and I'm going to miss her bouncing around the garden chasing out other squirrels and shouting at other squirrels from the windowsill. I'll miss those breath-taking leaps between the trees too. Had it not been for Half-Tail, not only would I not have been educated as to what is in the woodland at the back here, but I wouldn't have had such a sweet friend too. Knowing Half-Tail has been amazing. She was a great teacher and a remarkable friend. Her parting gesture today was for her to let me tickle her chin just before she tore across the garden in her own unique way and to stop half-way to look at the one human she could regard as a friend. There will be other squirrels, but Half-Tail has been the one thats made the most impact on my life and I'll never forget her for that.
If you want to follow and learn from wildlife, follow a squirrel... you'll find a friend and an educator who will not mock nor scorn, yet, with a little food, will listen to your woes without passing judgement and who will be kind and gentle with you. Your reward will be greater than you can imagine.