There’s nothing unique about this photo. Another squirrel in the bird feeder.
I usually can’t identify individual squirrels in the yard, but I suspect this one is unique. It’s smaller than many of the yard’s other squirrels, and much more cautious. Understandably so.
It seldom lingers in the feeder. Rather than settling in for a feast, it inches down the post, grabs a mouthful of seed, and retreats to the wax myrtle’s overhanging branches, where it can eat in relative safety.
It also checks the far side of the fence much more frequently than our other squirrels.
The first time I saw the tail-less squirrel bounding across our yard, I suffered a moment of intense confusion. It looked more like a very thin rabbit than a squirrel. A thin rabbit with short legs and even shorter ears. But then the strange rabbit scurried up a tree trunk, and my confusion transformed into amazement.
How does a squirrel with no tail survive in the wild? How does it balance as it races through the trees? How does it communicate, and what are its chances of reproducing?
I’m tempted to ask other questions, as well, questions rooted in human perceptions of beauty and resilience. But such questions have no answers, and the world already has too many questions that can’t be answered.