Bob Bestler

It’s OK to be a little nuts: Why I want to be reincarnated as this bushy-tailed critter

A fox squirrel sits by one of the ponds at Eagle’s Nest. The January Course Review is Eagle’s Nest in Little River, S.C.
A fox squirrel sits by one of the ponds at Eagle’s Nest. The January Course Review is Eagle’s Nest in Little River, S.C. jlee@thesunnews.com

Seriously, consider the squirrel.

Isn’t it one of the cutest critters you’ll ever see scampering across your yard?

Doesn’t it make you want to brake whenever it darts in front of your car?

I certainly brake for all squirrels on golf courses and in McClellanville. That’s a lot of braking.

This village has about a thousand live oak trees that are homes to squirrels. Seven of those live oaks occupy our own yard and that means a constant rush of squirrel activities.

But here’s the thing. I once gave my wife a kind of Barbara Walters peek into my soul when I told her I’d like to come back as a squirrel. Why? Because I’d love to spend the day scurrying through those trees, happily jumping from limb to limb, maybe chasing little girl squirrels.

She would have thought a pampered puppy or kitty, but I said no. It’s a squirrel or nothing.

She must have taken my words seriously. Last year, as an exercise in a creative writing class, she wrote three books for children about a squirrel.

She named him Cyrus and forever more every squirrel she sees is Cyrus — as in, “Watch out for Cyrus!” and “Don’t hit Cyrus!”

She’s not the first person in my family to name a squirrel.

A relative once adopted a baby squirrel as a pet. He named him Abner.

The day I met Abner he was no longer a baby and as I sat innocently on a couch, he suddenly leaped at me and dug his claws into my sweater.

It was terrifying. One of us had to go and the next time I visited, Abner was gone. Seems I wasn’t his only victim.

In my closet is a T-shirt with a Cyrus on the front, along with some very sensible Cyrus suggestions for all of us.

  • 1. Look both ways when you cross the road.

  • 2. Plan ahead. Stay active.

  • 3. Eat plenty of fiber.

  • 4. Spend time in the woods.

  • 5. Go out of a limb.

  • 6. It’s Ok to be a little nuts.

I’m not a squirrel yet, but I would add one more: Always try to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Seriously.

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net

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