During my last semester of grad school, I was walking to class and saw a squirrel running past me—and it had no tail. At first, I thought that it was a figment of my imagination, because surely squirrel tails don’t just fall off? But a minute later I found the tail.
I did what any reasonable person would do in this situation: I picked it up, called my resident squirrel expert (let’s raise a glass to Daddy Mike, a man of many talents, and the reason my blog domain is Queen Jadea.)
Anyway, I asked Dad if he had any need for a squirrel tail (he often uses roadkill fur and feathers for tying flies for fly fishing.) Of course, he already had a squirrel tail (I mean, why wouldn’t he already have one?)
So I kept it in my backpack and went to class.
Fast-forward 2.5 years. I’m in Houston doing an icebreaker with other Peace Corps trainees, and we’re all discussing the weirdest thing that we packed.
It’s my turn, so I tell everyone that I have a 5-lb stash of Sour Patch Kids (because why wouldn’t I?) Later that night, it hit me: I still have a damn squirrel tail in my backpack. The backpack that I brought as my carry-on.
Fast-forward to today (10 days after Houston.)
Somehow, while we’re doing homework for Spanish class, this story came up (because…?)
Maddie is screaming.
Adrian is saying, “no no no no Jade I don’t like where this story is going.”
Everyone asks, “where is it?” (Answer: in this room with us.)
“How did you get it through Customs?” (*shrug*)
“It’s rotting, right?” (Nope.)
“Oh my God, you have it in a plastic bag or something, right?” (Absolutely not.)
And FINALLY: “Can we see it? I kind of want to see it.” (Happy to oblige 😊😀😇)
tl;dr – I showed my friends my squirrel tail, scarred them for life, and put it back in my backpack where I’m sure it will stay for the next 27 months.