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Theo: The White Squirrel

THEO

The White Squirrel

by Robert W. Fuller

Pictures by Claire Sheridan

Copyright © 2016 Robert W. Fuller and Claire E. Sheridan

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 9781310885587

TO MY GRANDCHILDREN:

AZ, ARDEN, THOMAS, AND CHARLIE

With special thanks to Coleen Burrows

for her support and editing skill.

HIDE AND SEEK

Theo was a white squirrel. He’d been white since he was a baby. His mother and father were gray; so were his big brother Hugo and his little sister Tita, and so were all the other squirrels in the neighborhood.

Chasing through the trees with his playmates, Theo looked like a comet streaking across the sky. His family and friends accepted his whiteness, but he’d never gotten used to the stares of strangers, and he hated their finger-pointing. Even though his parents said it didn’t matter, he sometimes wished he were gray like everyone else.

It didn’t help Theo that Henrietta was also snow-white because Henrietta was a cat. She thought of squirrels as big mice and spent her nights dreaming about them and her days trying to catch one. But compared to the squirrels, Henrietta was clumsy and slow. The squirrels made fun of her. Hugo had nicknamed her “Marshmallow”—because, he said, she was soft, plump, and white—but Theo never called her that.

Theo spent his first summer playing with his friends. It was in their games of hide and seek that his color caused him the most trouble. Because he was so easy to spot, he was always the first to be found. The others thought it was funny.

By fall Theo was big enough to help gather acorns for the winter. Every family had a big stash of acorns in its tree house, and more were buried in secret places throughout the neighborhood. Theo worked especially hard gathering acorns, perhaps to make up for being different.

THEO BECOMES INVISIBLE

Then something happened that changed Theo’s life forever. One night it snowed. When Theo and his brother and sister went out to play the next morning, Theo was practically invisible. The other squirrels stuck out like chocolate chips in vanilla ice cream, but Theo blended right in. That day, for the first time, Theo was the star of hide and seek.

Some of the squirrels complained that it wasn’t fair. Hugo, who usually led their games and had never lost to his younger brother, suggested that Theo should roll in soot before they played again. Tita was delighted that Theo had done so well. She piped up that their mother would never allow a sooty Theo in the house, and suggested that instead they all color themselves with snow. But everyone shouted, “Brrr, too cold.” That shut Hugo up.

ANYTHING BUT ACORNS!

During the winter, all the squirrels lived on acorns. Day after day, in every home, there was acorn meal for breakfast, acorn butter sandwiches for lunch, acorn cookies at teatime, and acorn soup for supper. As the months passed most of the squirrels got pretty tired of acorns, especially Hugo. Repetition simply didn’t suit his nature.

Just before Christmas, Hugo became aware of a green van parked down the street in front of Grandma Delilah’s house. He probably wouldn’t have paid it any attention except for the sign painted on both sides.

On the sign were mouth-watering pictures of small nuts and large nuts, round nuts and oval nuts, brown nuts and white nuts. The only nuts Hugo recognized were peanuts. Hugo had found a few peanuts in lunch bags tossed over the school fence and never let a day pass without checking along that fence.

Hugo couldn’t stop thinking about Grandma Delilah’s exotic nuts. “I’d give anything to get my hands on them,” he would say to anyone who would listen.

“What makes you think they’re so good?” Theo asked. “Maybe only people like those kinds of nuts.”

“Peanuts. Peanuts is why I’m sure they’re good. I’ll bet those other nuts are as good as peanuts, probably better. People have excellent taste when it comes to food.”

“But how do you know those other nuts are real?” Theo asked.

“Maybe they’re imaginary,” chimed in Tita, “or wishful thinking, like the gold at the end of rainbows.”

“Peanuts are real, so the other nuts must be, too,” was all Hugo could say. He’d never actually seen any of those other nuts in the flesh, but he was sure they existed. He knew the only way to convince Theo and the others was to show them.

“Let’s sneak up to Grandma Delilah’s house and look in her kitchen window,” he proposed. “I’ll bet there are tons of nuts in plain sight.”

HEAVENLY NUTS

Theo, who looked up to Hugo, immediately agreed, and that very afternoon they climbed onto a ledge outside Grandma Delilah’s kitchen window and peered in. Sure enough, there on the counter, were jars and bags of nuts, all the kinds painted on the green van, just like Hugo said.

But not more than a few paces from the nuts was Henrietta, snoozing on a kitchen chair. If Hugo had any thoughts of sneaking into Grandma Delilah’s kitchen and taking some of her heavenly nuts, the sight of Henrietta put an end to them. Although he liked to poke fun at “Marshmallow,” he knew he could only outrun her in the trees.

Craning for a better look into Grandma Delilah’s kitchen, Hugo almost lost his balance. Theo had to grab his tail to keep him from falling into a pile of snow. But Hugo had caught a glimpse of heaven. From that moment on, getting some of those nuts gave meaning and purpose to Hugo’s life.

He began spying on the van. About three o’clock Sunday afternoons, Tom, who was Grandma Delilah’s grandson, would go back and forth between the house and the van, loading it with boxes of nuts.

Then off he drove to deliver the nuts. Late every Friday, the van would reappear in front of Grandma Delilah’s house and a tired-looking Tom would climb out.

HUGO’S BIG IDEA

Hugo suddenly saw a way to make off with some of the nuts. He couldn’t get close enough to the van unseen, but perhaps Theo could! Theo’s whiteness would enable him to blend into the snow bank near the van. He’d be invisible, just as in hide and seek. He could jump in as soon as Tom headed back to the house, grab some nuts, and get away before Tom returned with another load. Surely no one would miss a few nuts.

After describing his plan to the whole gang, Hugo turned to Theo and said, “Do you think you’re up to it, little brother?” The others, who were all bored with acorns and were always up for an adventure, egged Theo on. Only Tita had doubts, but her small voice was drowned out by shrieks of enthusiasm. Finally everyone quieted down and turned to Theo. In a voice full of pride, he said, “It’ll be a piece of cake.”

Fearing the snow might melt, Hugo wanted to carry out the plan immediately. As usual, the green van had sat empty all Saturday. But from his observations, Hugo knew that tomorrow, after lunch, Tom would begin loading it.

The next day around noon, all the gray squirrels gathered in the old oak tree that provided a bird’s-eye view of the neighborhood. This oak had supplied acorns to countless generations of squirrels. Now it would be the vantage point from which they would watch as Theo attempted to boldly go where no squirrel had gone before—into the green van full of Grandma Delilah’s heavenly nuts.

THEO STEPS UP

Hugo’s plan called for only one quick heist. He said that if it worked, Theo might try to make two or three grabs the following Sunday, but this first time Theo should get in and out as quickly as possible.

Tita had not stopped worrying about Hugo’s plan. What did he mean—“if it worked”—she wanted to know. Theo would be taking all the risks, while Hugo watched from the tree. “If Hugo’s plan’s so good,” she asked Theo, “why doesn’t he carry it out himself?”

“Because only I can get into the van,” Theo replied. And he reminded her that even she had not been able to find him when they played hide and seek in the snow. Theo’s retort silenced his sister, but it did not calm her fears. She wasn’t sure that Hugo had thought of everything.

PARADISE

Before his friends had taken their positions in the oak, Theo had hidden himself in the snow bank next to the van. Until he signaled his presence by flicking his tail, no one had spotted him, and Hugo had begun to think his little brother had chickened out.

Right after Theo’s signal, Tom came out with the first load of nuts. He opened the van’s back door, placed the boxes inside, and returned to the house for another load.

Theo’s plan was to wait in the snow bank until the van was almost full so Tom wouldn’t notice when a few nuts went missing. Just as Hugo had said, Tom marched back and forth between the house and the van, loading it with boxes of nuts.

Quivering with anticipation, everyone watched, hoping to witness Theo make history. As Tom returned to the house on what must have been his fifth or sixth trip, a streak of white light seemed to emerge from the snow bank and disappear into the van.

They all held their breath. Before anyone exhaled, the house door swung open again and Tom strode towards the van with another load. Everyone assumed Theo was busily stuffing his cheeks with nuts.

But inside the van Theo was discovering a very different paradise than the one he’d imagined. Carefully placed on the shelves and the floor of the van lay dozens of boxes of nuts, each one beautifully wrapped in transparent cellophane and tied two ways with a satin ribbon. Through the cellophane, Theo saw that Grandma Delilah had arranged the nuts into beautiful mosaics of flowers or tropical islands or famous people. On every box was a little card inscribed with the name and address of the person for whom it was intended.

For “Noah” there was King Arthur holding his sword Excalibur, all made from various kinds of nuts; for “Adam,” a baseball player composed of hazelnuts, almonds, and cashews; for “Benjamin” a face of mixed nuts that resembled Einstein, with a mustache of tiny pine nuts; and for “Karen” a Santa Claus of Brazil nuts, almonds, and pistachios.

Theo then realized that these were special holiday gifts, each one destined for someone in particular. He had imagined himself picking up a few stray nuts, but he’d not bargained for this. How could he untie the ribbons, unwrap the cellophane, open someone else’s present, and leave it half empty and in tatters?

Theo sat and thought, paralyzed with indecision. He had just wanted to be one of the gang. And since yesterday, for the first time in his life, he’d begun to feel he really belonged. He’d even begun to fancy himself a hero. Now he wished that he had never gotten involved. But how could he return to his friends empty-cheeked?

Suddenly Theo’s deliberations were interrupted by the sound of the back door slamming shut—THRUMPP! A moment later Tom opened the driver-side door and got behind the wheel. Theo froze, and then, in a panic, he scrambled to the rear window. As the van pulled away from the curb, he caught a glimpse of his friends looking down at him in horror. Tita was crying. Hugo was racing down the tree trunk. There was no way for Theo to warn his older brother that Henrietta, the white cat whom Hugo called “Marshmallow,” was hiding in the snow near the trunk of the tree. The last thing Theo saw as the van headed out of town was Henrietta leaping into the air and locking her jaws around Hugo’s tail.

ON THE ROAD

Tom drove for a long time without stopping. Theo heard him opening his lunch. Judging from the crunching sounds, Theo figured Tom was eating potato chips, and he wished he had a few. Then Theo drifted off to sleep. He dreamt that his mother asked, “Would you like another cookie?” In his dream, Theo heard himself reply, “Not unless you’ve got an oatmeal raisin, or peanut butter, or chocolate chip cookie. Anything but acorns!”

It was his complaint about acorns that woke him. “Anything but acorns” was how he’d gotten into this mess! He promised himself that if he ever got home he’d never again whine about acorns.

As the van carried him further and further away from home, Theo had lots of time to think. He realized immediately that his only hope of ever getting back to his family and friends lay with the green van. He would surely become lost if he left the van and struck out on his own. But if Tom kept to his regular weekly routine, the van should return to Grandma Delilah’s house next Friday afternoon. If Theo could stay hidden until then, he’d be home in five days.

He hoped his family and friends wouldn’t worry too much, but what could he do? He remembered his last glimpse of Hugo—headed straight for Henrietta’s jaws. “Serves him right for getting me into this pickle,” he thought, but then, immediately, he changed his mind. Hugo was his brother and might have lost his tail. No point blaming Hugo. He could only blame himself for not getting out of the van sooner.

COLD, HUNGRY, AND ALONE

Tom had driven south. When Theo awoke the next morning, it seemed warmer. There was no snow anywhere, and as far as he was concerned, it was good riddance. Snow had given him an advantage at hide and seek, but his success had been his undoing. If only he were gray like everyone else, he wouldn’t have volunteered to sneak into the van. His high visibility had often been a nuisance, and now, as a stowaway, it could be fatal.

The thought of dying made Theo realize he was hungry. Once again, he considered opening one of Grandma Delilah’s gift-wrapped boxes of nuts.

Just then Tom stopped to make his first delivery. Theo hunkered down and held his breath. Tom slid the rear door open, reached in for a gift box, shut the door, and walked off. Theo immediately poked his nose into the lunch bag that lay on the floor. Inside he found two hard little ginger snaps. Tom must not like them, he reasoned. But they tasted absolutely wonderful to Theo. He ate one and saved the other for later.

A few hours later Tom stopped at the family restaurant, and returned to the van eating a hamburger and carrying a bag of something. Theo didn’t expect Tom to leave any hamburger, though he would have dearly loved some.

By late afternoon, Tom was stopping for deliveries quite frequently. Theo hid and watched. When Tom parked at a Chinese restaurant for dinner, Theo found two withered french fries in the bag and some melted ice in a cup.

It had gotten dark while Tom was in the restaurant. Tom drove only a few hours that evening and then checked into a motel. Since leaving home, Theo had eaten only one cookie and two shriveled fries. His spirits were low as he curled up into a tight, white ball for the night—cold, hungry, and alone.

TRAPPED IN PARADISE

Theo was awakened the next morning by the sound of Tom’s key turning in the lock. Tom looked sharp and fresh and was wearing clean clothes. From the window, Theo saw that it was a warm, sunny, almost spring-like day. Theo had never seen pine trees before and marveled at their green color. All the trees in his neighborhood were without leaves at this time of year. Seeing no oak trees, and unable to imagine life without acorns, he doubted there were any squirrels in these parts.

About mid-morning Tom pulled up to a flower stall. He returned with a smile on his face and a bouquet of purple tulips. Less than a half-mile on, he drove into the driveway of a bright yellow house, honked three times, jumped out, and headed towards the front porch. Before he could ring the bell, the door was flung open and girl with long, strawberry blond hair appeared: “Hi, Tom. Are the tulips for me?”

Tom nodded shyly. This was the first time he had given a girl flowers, and he was a little nervous.

Theo was dying to get out of the van, but he knew that getting home depended on staying inside, undetected. What a turn of fate! Before all this happened he’d wanted nothing so much as to get into the green van—“squirrel paradise,” as Hugo called it—and now he wanted nothing more than to get out. Hugo’s paradise had become Theo’s prison. He promised himself he’d never again buy anyone else’s dream, certainly not his brother’s.

A PICNIC WITH ELVIS

Tom and Julia came out and got into the van. Julia was carrying a picnic basket on one arm. The smell coming from it made Theo’s mouth water, but he dared not leave his hiding place behind the packages.

Julia knew every street in town and her directions sped up Tom’s deliveries. Not only did she know where everyone lived, she even ran the boxes up to people’s front doors while Tom kept the engine running. In the next few hours, as, one by one, the gift boxes were delivered, Theo’s prison shrank. By noon he found himself hiding behind Tom’s duffle bag. At this rate he’d soon be forced to take refuge directly under the driver’s seat, just inches from Tom’s feet.

Then Theo heard Julia say, “Here’s one with no card. I think it’s an ‘Elvis.’ What should we do with him?” Indeed, smiling up through the cellophane was none other than The King of Rock and Roll, with an almond guitar. His outfit consisted of white macadamia nuts with a red pistachio scarf and a big hazelnut belt. It was one of Grandma Delilah’s most popular models, but without a name and address, it was undeliverable. Tom said, “Put it in the picnic basket and we’ll have it with lunch.”

The sight of Elvis reminded Theo how hungry he was. And this nutty Elvis was about to be devoured, but not by him.

Tom parked the van near a pond at the edge of town. He and Julia got out, leaving the radio playing and the van wide open, and spread a picnic blanket under a pine tree.

Theo licked his lips as he watched them unwrap two egg salad sandwiches. Theo adored eggs. When they finished their sandwiches, Tom began to snack on Elvis’s macadamia nut suit, leaving holes in the knees. Julia took several bites from his almond guitar. Elvis would never be whole again.

Julia got to her feet, and pulling Tom up, said, “Let’s walk around the pond.” To music from the van’s radio, they marched off together, hand in hand. Theo’s spirits began to lift and, seizing this opportunity, he bounded out of the van and made straight for Elvis. No one would care about a few nuts from a suit full of holes. And he was sure the real Elvis would have wanted him to do anything to get rid of this unflattering likeness.

His conscience at ease, Theo tried the pistachios from Elvis’s scarf. For the first time since he found himself a captive, Theo thought better of his big brother. Hugo was right: this was paradise!

A NEW FRIEND

Theo was munching his way down Elvis’s arm, when he heard a voice calling to him from a nearby pine tree: “Hey, you down there. What’s that you’re eating? Mind if I join you?” It was the voice of another squirrel. Peering up through the branches Theo hollered, “Best nuts I’ve ever had, and plenty of ‘em. Come on over.” Alma had been there since the picnic began. She had seen Theo leap out of the van and watched enviously as he feasted.

Alma edged up curiously as Theo noshed on Elvis’s guitar. When Theo turned to offer her a bite, he got the surprise of his life. Alma wasn’t like any squirrel he had ever seen. Until that moment he’d believed all squirrels were gray—except himself, of course. But there before him was a squirrel who was neither gray nor white nor any color in between.

Alma was red, quite unmistakably red. He began to stammer but Alma interrupted with, “Hello. My name is Alma. I’ve never seen a white squirrel before. You are a squirrel, aren’t you?” Theo, ignoring the question, quickly collected his wits and coolly replied, “Well, I’ve never seen a red squirrel. So we’re even!” Then, to change the subject, he said, “Try the belt.”

Theo had been right that there were no oak trees in these parts. Alma knew nothing of acorns. Squirrels here lived on pine nuts, insects, frogs, bird’s eggs, and berries. Like Theo, Alma had never tasted any of the nuts of which Elvis was made, and like Theo, she found them delicious. When they had both eaten all they could, Alma said, “Let’s take a swim. The water’s not cold. I swim here every day.”

A BATH AT LAST

Theo wasn’t ready to tell Alma his story yet, so a swim seemed like an excellent idea. He hadn’t washed for days. They waded in and began swimming, side by side, using their tails as rudders.

Just then Tom and Julia completed their walk around the pond. “Well, I’ve got to get back on the road if I’m going to stop and see you on my way home,” Tom said. “Grandma is expecting me for dinner on Friday.”

They packed up the picnic basket and blanket, tossed the remains of Elvis in the back of the van, and climbed in. Theo and Alma, who were having such a good time that they’d lost track of Tom and Julia, heard the van’s doors slam shut and the engine start. The two squirrels made a run for it, but it was too late. The van was out of sight by the time they reached the pine tree.

After shaking the water from their fur, they lay down to dry in the sun and Theo told Alma his whole story. By the time he finished he was in despair about ever getting home again. As the sun set, Alma said, “Don’t worry. We’ll think of something. But now let’s get some sleep. You’ll be safe in my tree. Julia lives in town and tomorrow we’ll go to her house. She and Tom are sweethearts. Sooner or later, Tom will return.”

The next morning Alma proposed that they set up a lookout near Julia’s house and keep watch for the green van.

“You’ve been with Tom for days,” Alma said. “Does he ever leave the van open?”

“Hardly ever,” Theo replied, “and I’d never have gotten into it in the first place without hiding myself in the snow.” Alma could see that he was beginning to lose heart, and even though she didn’t know how they’d do it, she said, “When the time comes, we’ll find a way into the van.”

RED, WHITE, AND GRAY

There were no tall trees near Julia’s house so, like tightrope walkers in a circus, they scurried across a cable which led from a telephone pole to Julia’s roof. The green van didn’t turn up, though they kept watch until it was dark.

Then they scampered back to Alma’s tree house, hungry and tired. Hoping to cheer Theo up, Alma made him a special dinner.

“Try this,” she said, passing him a dish of frog’s legs and pine nuts. This was Theo’s first experience of southern cooking and it tasted so good he completely forgot his problems. He explained that where he came from most recipes were based on acorns, and he offered to make her acorn pancakes if she’d come visit him someday.

When she saw how relaxed he was, Alma decided it was safe to ask Theo a question she’d had since the moment she saw him.

“I hope you don’t mind my asking,” she said, “but what’s it like to be white?”

“I’d rather be gray,” Theo said. “Everyone in my family is gray. So are all the squirrels where I come from. I do know one white cat, but she doesn’t count. You’re the only squirrel I’ve ever met who isn’t gray.”

“Well, it’s different here,” Alma explained. “Everyone’s red like me. Until I met you, I thought all squirrels were red.”

“I thought I was a freak,” Theo said. “But if there are lots of red squirrel as well as lots of grays, maybe somewhere there are other whites, as well. Maybe in Alaska or Siberia, where it’s snowy.”

“I don’t know about that,” Alma said, “but I do know that you’re the best-looking fellow I’ve ever met.”

“I think you’re very pretty,” Theo said, blushing, “and I love your cooking.” After cleaning up, they curled up together and slept blissfully all night.

HOMESICK

If Theo was ever to see his friends and family again, he knew he must maintain the lookout for Tom and the van that was his only way home. So, early the next morning, they returned to Julia’s roof. For hours, nothing happened.

Then, around noon, the green van appeared down the street, drove to Julia’s yellow house, and parked in the driveway. Tom honked three times and got out. Theo’s hopes soared, but his joy was short-lived because as soon as Tom got out he slammed the door behind him and disappeared into the house.

“How am I ever going to get back in?” Theo moaned, just loud enough so Alma could hear him.

Over the last two days, a plan had slowly taken shape in Alma’s mind. She’d kept it to herself until now because she thought the plan would work better if Theo had less time to think about it before carrying it out. So when Theo asked how he would get into the van, she answered, “Leave it to me. The moment is almost here, and when it comes you must not hesitate, you must seize it. Do not say good-bye to me. Just leap into the van and hide. But, please, do not forget me. I’ll never forget you.”

As Alma finished her little speech, Tom and Julia came out the front door and headed for the van. Tom swung open the door and Julia gave him a good-bye kiss. She said, “See you next week, same time, same place.”

This was the moment Alma had foreseen. She turned to Theo and said, “Count to ten and then go. Don’t think, just go—in exactly ten seconds.”

ALMA’S DARING PLAN

With that, Alma leapt from the roof, rebounded off a small tree, and landed just a few feet from Tom and Julia. Alma immediately began running circles around them, chattering like crazy. Her plan was to distract them while Theo raced down to the van and snuck in.

Tom and Julia were startled by Alma’s sudden appearance out of the sky and by her antics on the ground. They watched spellbound as Alma drew them away from the van and towards the house by scampering onto the front porch and racing through the open front door.

Theo was spellbound too. He stood transfixed on the roof’s edge. He completely forgot to count to ten, let alone jump. It wasn’t that he was afraid. It was rather that he’d been dumbfounded by Alma’s courage and devotion. No one had ever done such a thing for him before.

Tom was running after Julia who was chasing Alma up the front steps into the house. Theo saw that Alma’s deception had worked and that his way was clear. But there was no way he could leave his new friend in danger. Theo jumped down from the roof and made for the front door. Julia had imagined that Alma was headed for the kitchen so that’s where she went first, with Tom fast on her heels. But once inside the front door, Alma had simply slipped behind it. As soon as Julia and Tom raced by, she ran right back out the front door, and bumped smack into Theo on the welcome mat. Tumbling over each other, the two squirrels, one red and one white, looked like a strawberry shortcake.

Alma sprang to her feet and said, “You should be in the van! The door’s open!”

Theo replied, “I’m not going without you. Will you come with me?”

Alma answered him by making a red streak for the van. A white streak followed just behind her.

Presently Tom and Julia appeared, perplexed but laughing. “I suppose that squirrel is hiding in the pantry, hoping for a meal,” Julia said. “When you’ve gone, I’ll lure it out with some scrambled eggs and biscuits. It’ll leave once its tummy is full.”

Tom and Julia said good-bye to each other and Tom drove off. His usual practice was to drive straight through to Grandma Delilah’s, stopping only for gas and some coffee to wash down the sandwiches Julia packed for him.

In the van, Theo and Alma had hidden themselves in the only possible hiding place—beneath the front seat. They’d had enough excitement for a while and welcomed a chance to curl up for a nap.

HOMECOMING

The journey home was uneventful. Theo and Alma stretched their legs by dancing around in the van when Tom stopped for coffee, but the rest of the time they stayed well out of sight. Leftover Elvis provided breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

At one of Tom’s stops, Theo brought up the problem of escaping from the van once Tom got to Grandma Delilah’s. They decided to do the only thing they could under the circumstances—make a run for freedom as soon as Tom opened the door to get out. It wouldn’t matter if Tom saw them then because even if he tried, he wouldn’t be able to catch them. Theo told Alma not to worry about their escape. “Just follow me,” he said, hoping to impress her with some heroics of his own.

By mid-afternoon on Friday, Theo’s family and friends had assembled in the tree near Grandma Delilah’s house. Would the green van reappear as usual? they wondered.

Would Theo be in it? In her eagerness to see her brother back home, Tita had set up a vigil on a branch close to the street.

Hugo, though his right arm was in a sling and his tail appeared to be several inches shorter, had been waiting since morning. Henrietta—who Hugo had stopped calling “Marshmallow”—was nowhere to be seen. She was still recovering from a scratch on her nose that Hugo had inflicted while escaping her clutches.

The sun was low in the sky when the green van came into view. Every neck craned forward as Tom parked in his usual spot near the old oak tree. A tired Tom pushed open the door and was about to climb out when two balls of fur—one white, one red—rolled out from under his seat. The instant they felt the pavement beneath them, Theo and Alma ran to the great oak. Before Tom had even gotten out of the van, the pair was half way up the tree. The cheers of the squirrels in the branches drew Tom’s attention, and he glanced upwards, puzzled by the commotion.

At supper that evening, Theo’s family welcomed Alma to her new home. After serving acorn soup and sandwiches, Theo’s mother brought out an acorn cake that she had made to celebrate their safe arrival. Theo was so relieved to be home, and so proud to have his brave friend Alma at his side, that he made no mention of Grandma Delilah’s heavenly nuts.

Though he never forgot his taste of paradise, Theo was happy, and he didn’t ever complain again about being different. He knew that he would not have met Alma if he’d been gray like everyone else.

While his arm healed, Hugo consoled himself for missing out on the great adventure by writing a book about his little brother, Theo, the white squirrel.

THE END


Theo: The White Squirrel

  • ISBN: 9781310885587
  • Author: Robert W. Fuller
  • Published: 2016-07-03 07:35:40
  • Words: 5423
Theo: The White Squirrel Theo: The White Squirrel