The last time I wrote about the white squirrel frolicking in our yard, it provoked a somewhat testy little quarrel.
The one who took offense was the occupant of a house several doors to the west, on the other side of State Line Road.
“That albino squirrel is ours,” she declared. “It’s been in OUR yard for years.”
I suppose I could have challenged her in print. But these are trying times in the newspaper business, and there’s little to be gained by using the power of the pen to quibble with a subscriber.
What’s more, I don’t even know for a certainty that the beast in question is, in fact, an albino.
The notion that all creatures afflicted by albinism have pink eyes is a myth. According to the literature, an albino’s eyes can be any of several colors, including blue or hazel.
But squirrels spend a good part of their lives in the upper branches of large trees. And as one who has endured a lifetime of acrophobia — the fear of heights — I have neither the courage nor the nimbleness to get close enough to a squirrel to determine with any certainty the color of its eyes.
So to cover my bases, let’s just say the squirrel I’m speaking of is pale and leave it at that.
Like many neighborhood associations, the area in which we live is governed by certain expectations, and we do our best to abide by those.
One is the requirement to keep lawns in a tidy condition — regularly mown, with the litter hauled promptly away.
Another is the obligation, when taking the dog of the house for a walk, to collect for disposal the little calling cards deposited along the way.
Nothing else in the published guide to neighborly behavior presents any serious problem. Omitted, however, is any attempt to deal with the issue of the ownership of squirrels.
One might think that a friendly chat over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres might put the matter to rest. But given the number of attorneys with homes in the neighborhood, I suspect that in the end it will have to be litigated.