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Animal Stories: Cyril The Squirrel

Graham Whitcroft tells the enhancing story of Cyril the squirrel, a creature gifted with a most generous nature.

For more of Graham's animal stories please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/animal_stories/

Darryl and Cyril were squirrels who lived in a lovely wood next to a beautiful stream. They spent their summer days sunbathing in the treetops or playing ‘chase’ among the branches. Life was good! In autumn they collected the nuts that had fallen from the trees so that when the dark cold days of winter arrived their supply of food would never be a problem.

But these two squirrels had very different personalities.

Cyril always collected more than he needed so that he could be generous to needy animals.

Darryl was different. He scurried around to make sure his store was packed full and never told anyone, including Cyril, where his stores could be found. What’s more, he never shared with anyone.

One Spring day, after Cyril had discovered some peanuts on the bird table at a human being’s house, Darryl found him sharing his find with a mouse. “What are you doing?” asked Darryl. “Well, he’s hungry’ replied Cyril ‘and he has a big family to feed”.

“Poppycock!’ said Darryl, ‘He should have collected what he needed at the proper time. I don’t believe in charity”.

The next summer produced a wonderful harvest but when November came, the rain came with it. “Not a very nice day” said Cyril as he met Darryl scurrying to one of his stores but Darryl was far too busy to answer.

All the next week and the following week, it rained and rained and rained. Everything in the wood was soaked.

One morning, feeling very damp and extremely fed up Cyril woke and looked out of his dray. All he could see was water. “Heavens!’ he thought, ‘what has happened to my storehouse?”

So, jumping through the bare branches of the trees, he came to a huge oak tree. In its roots was a hole in which he kept his food. It was without a great deal of surprise, to find it full of water and most of its contents flushed away.

“What a disaster” thought Cyril, “though how fortunate I am to be a squirrel in a tree rather than an animal living beneath the trees. I wonder what’s happened to them?” So, being very concerned, he went looking for them.

He found Mrs. Hedgehog. “Wet, but safe” he mused and left her to escort her children to higher ground. A little further on, he discovered Mr. Mrs. Mouse sitting in a hole in a stone wall.

“Are you OK?” asked Cyril.

“I think we’ll be all right’ shouted Mr. Mouse, ‘we’re thinking of making this our new home”. “Hold on’ said Cyril ‘I’ll help you move”.

Some days later, when the waters began to ebb away, Cyril returned to his store and began to clean up the mess and retrieve what little food he could.

As he worked he heard a shuffling noise. It was the hedgehog. “I guessed you’d be in need of food’, she said, ‘so I’ve brought you a few acorns I found by the stream”.

Cyril was so grateful and said so, but no sooner had she gone than Mr. Mouse appeared carrying some berries.

“I found these at the top of the hill and I thought you could make use of them – we’ve kept what we need”.

“Many, many thanks” said Cyril, and, as he considered the generosity of his friends, he wiped away a tear.

Cyril continued having visitors bearing gifts. Birds, bats, voles and moles all made their contribution. No one looking at the food in Cyril’s store would ever have guessed that a flood had emptied it. He had more than enough to last the whole winter.

Later that week, on the way to his dray, Cyril met Darryl. He looked so miserable.

“What’s wrong Darryl?’ he asked, ‘Why are you looking so sad?”

“I can’t understand why you’re not miserable too’ replied Darryl, ‘I’ve lost everything and I’m so hungry”.

Cyril didn’t want to boast that his friends had given him new supplies and neither did he want to appear charitable to a squirrel that hated charity, so he simply put his arm around Darryl’s shoulders and said, “Why not join me for tea?”

Sitting comfortably together in Cyril’s dray, they enjoyed acorn butter sandwiches and a pot of nettle tea. Delicious!

That night, when Darryl had returned home with a full belly, Cyril went to his store, took some armfuls of food and left it at Darryl’s one remaining storeroom that he’d discovered by accident. “That should see him through a few weeks” Cyril thought to himself. And it did.


Luke 6: 38


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