Balvihar January 2020
Counting sheep to fall asleep?
I always thought it was easier to count the squirrels in the tree outside my window.
It looked like, or so I thought, that they always engaged in one-side conversations, because each one’s screeching lines, their own.
I often caught them by surprise when I walked upto the balcony for a breath of fresh air or to water the plants.
If you can see a squirrel barking at you, you will exactly know what I mean. The alarm we cause by our presence or movement is too much for the little rodents. They own the entire tree and the area around it, for their screeching contests, relay races and scurrying marathons. However hard I tried, I always thought they all looked alike, the same bushy tail, soft silky fur and large eyes filled with curiosity.
” Didi, do you think we can identify who is who in their family photo?”
Me and my little brother Soorya giggled over it but then, decided to sit down and check if all squirrels were of the same size.
I cleared my throat and announced, ” Presenting the giant squirrels of India”
“May I..Squeak-squeak,” Soorya added a musical touch.
“The Indian Giant Squirrel, the largest species of squirrels found in India is the state animal of Maharashtra” Soorya read out.
“There is also the Malabar giant squirrel found on Tirumala hills, the Malayan giant squirrel or the Black giant squirrel mostly found in Kaziranga National Park in Assam and northeastern states.”
“And just listen to this. There is a special squirrel park in Tamilnadu. How I wish I were a squirrel.Soorya squeaked again.
“The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary specially for this species. How wonderful!!” I answered.
“And next comes the flying squirrels category” I announced to an invisible audience in the balcony, with Soorya holding a rolled newspaper as my microphone.
“Introducing the Indian giant flying squirrel and the Namdapha flying squirrel, a highly endangered species both found in India!!”
Soorya exclaimed ” Didi, Doesn’t that sound like we were introducing gold medal champions?”
“Absolutely, look at their speed” I pointed to the squirrels racing up the tree