A Animal That Almost Went Exticed But Is Great Now Pierre the Squirrel

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Pierre the Squirrel

There are some things I never imagined would happen in my life, and one of them was that I would share our home with a one-eyed, one-eared, hat-wearing squirrel named Pierre. Always sympathetic to animal rights, the mere thought of a dead one being stuffed and used as decoration really turned my stomach. But as I got older, I realized that, like people, everyone has different stories and not everyone came by wrong means.

Years ago, we were not so concerned about protecting the lives of animals, and they were really used for sport and food. I won’t get into politics because we all know that, but thankfully we have become wiser about the impact our hunting pleasure has had on the world and there are rules about what can and cannot be a trophy or mount. -Ash size tray.

What once seemed like a very macabre hobby to me is now an art and has become a powerful way to remember the past and examine animals that are soon (or already are) nearly extinct. However, my experience with taxidermy is less than exotic and definitely does not involve a beloved and protected species.

A few years ago, my daughter and I were watching Oddities, a show about a little shop in New York City called Obscura. Each week, they introduced several clients and took viewers on a tour of their quirky collections; everything from a shrunken head to a medical device that made you cringe just to hear the name. It was an education in the (often) less desirable side of history; a place full of curiosities and questions.

So, for her birthday one year, I decided to take my daughter to the store as a surprise. She was thrilled and, thankfully, the store was exactly as it appeared on TV (even the awkward, wooden mannequin was leaning crookedly outside, sweetly enabling the Obscura sign).

With all her money in hand, I told her she could buy anything she wanted (while keeping my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t be anything too terrible). Not everything was expensive, but condition mattered, and the most unique, pristine pieces were definitely out of her league. Many of them did not have prizes, which made it difficult for a young girl with birthday money. Still, it was a great place to look around and the questions just flowed out of us. The store was empty, so we spent more than an hour there.

From time to time, she returned to the squirrel on the shelf. There were two; one was very beautiful, with a shiny coat, and the other was very old and very scratchy. We were told it was from the 1950s, had been used as a teaching tool in schools and had just recently been returned to the shop. I have no idea what they taught, but he was obviously very much in love. An ear was missing and a glass eye had popped out, but he was holding a nut and the wooden mount had aged wonderfully. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of ​​bringing him home, but it could have been a lot worse and I understood why she wanted him.

She felt sorry for him and hoped he didn’t have too much money when she asked for the prize. It took every dollar she had, but she was so happy she could afford the broken squirrel at her favorite store. They put it in a paper bag and she immediately took it out, wandering down the street with a stuffed dead squirrel in her hands.

I cringed as she led him out the front door, wondering how he would fit into our house, what kind of crazy mother I was, and did it even matter? But, he had a kind face and his past was unknown. He just needed to be somewhere. So we found him a shelf to sit on, gave him a little blue hat to make him feel less hurt, and then, with what seemed like perfect timing, his tail fell off…

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