It seems that posts about my unusual childhood are a popular theme so far…I have received yet another request for a wildlife anecdote, this time from Monica, one of my oldest and dearest friends.

Monica and I go back to the 4th grade, and she always enjoyed dropping over and visiting our petting zoo. One day when we were in the 7th or 8th grade, Monica came over to visit and learned that my mother was raising a litter of three flying squirrels. While they are fairly common, not many people have seen them, as they are nocturnal. As it happened, Mom had them out of their cage for some “exercise” in the study, so we went in for a peek. Now, one of Monica’s many beautiful features is her long, thick, wavy hair, which, like any good tween of the mid-1980s, she had teased and sprayed to an impressive volume. When we walked into the study, the squirrels were perched along one of the curtain rods at the far end of the room (you see where I’m going with this). Just as she caught sight of them, one launched off the rod and soared across the room. Into her hair. Monica is as adventuresome as the next person, but when you have a tiny, freaked-out rodent scurrying through your hair, it’s hard to keep your cool. So she’s trying to disentangle this thing from her head, I’m trying not to laugh, and my mom is (probably) saying something like “Don’t hurt it/let the others out/let the cats/dogs into the room!” The exact resolution of the situation escapes me lo these 20 years later, but I do recall everyone escaped with only minor lacerations to their pride.