This morning, while searching for a drawing reference for a squirrel tail, I typed in said subject matter in my search engine. Many of the images returned were of squirrel tails--without squirrels attached to them. My reactions in this very specific order were:
A. Surprise (I guess that *is* what I searched for),
B. followed by a knee-jerk disgust (removing squirrel tails? who does that?),
C. leading to a flood of nostalgia:
Oh yeah... I remember seeing a few squirrel tails around my house and perhaps even playing with them as a kid. Yes. They were less fluffy than one might expect and disappointingly wiry in comparison to today's stuffed animals. Much like my imagined experience of sliding down a rainbow and into a big pillow of clouds, the squirrel's tails stopped short of soft and cuddly.
My memory of exactly how the tails manifested themselves in our play is thankfully faint. What does one do with a squirrel tail?
D. Finally, I was inundated by the unsettling recollection of the less-than-tasty squirrel meat dinners that brought in the new plush "toys" for my sister and I. The culinary flashback is one I often have when I see the much more edible, but none-the-less squirrel-meat-looking chicken kabobs often appearing on the buffet restaurant scene. This morning's recalled memory, however, was extra pungent-probably since it triggered two or more senses.
The lesson here, I think, is: Don't let your children play with detached appendages of cute furry beings after having eaten said furry being the night before. Oh, it may seem like fun and games at the time, but those memories don't age well and they make a sentimental stew that leaves one's stomach a bit queasy.
More importantly, however, if you are going to search for photos as a reference to draw a part of something that can be amputated from something else and you don't want to see photos of the part amputated from the something...google the whole squirrel. The importance of this is magnified by one's repressed memories of playing with the left over tails from last night's dinner.
*Several animals, especially squirrels, were unfortunately harmed in the making of this blog. I blame my parents mostly for this and the income inequality that existed in the 1970s that put squirrel on the menu. I do, however, want to officially state that I do not condone violence against animals. On the other hand, starving artists need to eat; and those chicken-squirrel kabobs have a good value to protein ratio.