Friday, April 15, 2005


One day a rat and a squirrel met on a trail. The rat, we'll call Nat, fell in love with the squirrel's bushy tail. He loved how it swished and wished he could do that. The squirrel, we'll call Shirl, saw the rat hang from a limb of a tree by the tip of its tail. "Even a cat can't do that," she said as she watched the rat twirl around and around with a squeal of delight. And she asked as she gazed, impressed and amazed, "How do you do that?" Nat said with a grin as he continued to spin: "There's nothing to it. Anybody can do it."

And the more that they talked as they walked through the wood, they knew it was good, Shirl and Nat were meant for each other. Not as sister, not as brother, but as lovers, could it prevail? Herein lies the tale of Shirl and Nat, the squirrel and the rat. How will it end? We'll see about that.

They sat in the shade of an old oak tree, cuddled and huddled romantically, and in between kisses, they learned what true bliss is and knew that this is what was meant to be. But then, with a pout, Shirl began to doubt that this could work out because the features of these two creatures, although much the same, knew it would depend on the ends that extend from the rear of their exterior. Bigotry would interfere with their tryst and insist it must not exist. What would neighbors say? It never fails. Their tails would
give them away.

And it is known, rats are hated. Squirrels are mostly tolerated. "Have no fear," Nat said with a smile ear to ear, "I'll get a tail transplant and they will say we look alike from head to toe and who's to know my bushy tail's what makes it so."

They were wed and it is said they lived together happily. Eventually, they added to their family. They had a little girl. And here's where my tale comes to a close. She has Nat's nose, His feet and toes. But that's as far as it goes. In the end, that little girl looks just like Shirl.

The family secret will prevail. She has her mother's bushy tail.