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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

white red squirrel

"Some girl cousins of mine in New Jersey have an odd pet," wrote Emily G. Hunt M.D. in 1897; "It is a red white squirrel."

She meant that it was an albino, though he had lovely black eyes instead of the pink ones you'd expect. The girls named him "Beads" in honor of them.

Albino or not, (Dr. Hunt continues)he is at any rate a most winning little pet, and there is no end to his pretty ways. As a cat and a kitten live with the same family, he has to bekept in a squirrel-cage; but he is let out a long time each day. Then Beads is quite happy. He climbs up the back of the chair and nibbles the hair of the person seated in it,gnaws the flowers in the windowsill, rushes up the stems of the callas, and scratches in the earth until it flies on all sides. He will rub his head and face and all his body in the earth, until his clean white dress is a sight to behold. After that he hops to the floor, and rubs his face carefully upon the carpet.

This is all part of a vivid short vignette complete with a portrait of Beads eating a cracker. You could find that in the periodical St. Nicholas, Vol. XXIV Part II., May, 1897 to October, 1897 (New York: The Century Co.; London: Macmillan and Co.), pp. 542-543. Or find it at this link (good luck!).

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