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Albino
by Annette Agnello
06/12/04
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Albino

Some years ago I was blessed with seeing an oddity of nature, an albino squirrel. While squirrels are normally a dusty gray, like the lint you empty out of a dryer, this squirrel was a creamy white.

It took a while to decide what it was. You would see a flash of white always moving from one tree limb to another. The trees were leafless and barren as the winter ended. The white squirrel was quite small. He must have just started venturing out from his nest. He probably had siblings of a more normal color who were invisible against the tree limbs. This little blossom looked like a flower or a bird, foretelling the coming spring.

As he grew, his identity became clear. Here was a rarity living in the woods beside our home. All squirrels are graceful sailing through the air with total confidence that the limb they were aiming for would be there reached it. They measure distances with their eyes and calculate the trajectory in their heads that would have humans reaching for paper and pens to work out. Even with no higher calculations, you seldom see a squirrel miss his mark.

Unfortunately we were not the only ones who noticed the little beauty. Albinos have a very short life expectancy because they are so noticeable. There is always a predator waiting for an easy kill. This squirrel's range was on the west side of our house across from our neighbor on the other side of the road. Our neighbor fancied himself a great hunter and all the time the squirrel grew he watched, and waited.

Spring had come and gone, summer too, as fall arrived and the leaves begin to drop the little squirrel became visible again. The intrepid hunter came across the road with a riffle in hand. He raised the gun to his shoulder. Mom saw this from the window and ran out on the porch screaming, "Don't shoot the white squirrel!"

A single shot rang out and he stooped to pick up his prize. We had not seen clearly what he had shot, but we never saw that squirrel again. I heard he was stuffed and kept in the den across the way. His worst predator was saying, "Look what I did!" What he did was actually destroy one of God's most beautiful creatures. He was a mighty hunter indeed.

A thing of beauty is a joy for as long as it is allowed to last. Are you letting Godís creations last or crushing them. Check your conscience. Have you pleased the Lord today?


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