Stubby, the three-legged flying squirrel passed away Monday afternoon. I gave him a good, comfortable life for the past 15 months. He would not have survived otherwise, because my Dad originally found him on the ground and very lethargic. He was nursed back to health, but did have some other health issues the rest of his short life. But he lived like a squirrel king in my house afterwards, with a big cage next to a large window that overlooks the tropical trees of the hammock. At night while I was on the computer, I would let him loose to explore the house for an hour or two. He was the best flying squirrel I ever had, because he was very well behaved and had a very sweet nature.
As soon as I found out that he was gone, the phone rings. It was Dad. Dad doesn't have any under his care now, but in the past he took care of dozens of little flyers. Maybe he instinctively knew as well.
I didn't have a tree to plant over him, but did have a pineapple plant. I am sure he would have liked that. As soon as I finished and stepped back, a dragonfly landed on the pineapple plant very briefly. A good sign if you know Seminole beliefs.
This morning, my boss' big, lovable hound dog Gretta, sat down on the ground in front of my front window, where Stubby's cage looked out. She was enjoying the sunrise and looked like she was keeping vigil for Stubby. Also significant among Seminole beliefs. Unlike humans, animal spirits often start to leave the body before the body shuts down. Both Gretta and I both knew Stubby was going.