MY SQUIRREL IS FLYING
“ You will see how many friendships you’ll make there in the city, of course even ( with) girls” His mother kept repeating him for days. “Oh, think, you will go to a very prestigious school ,the renowned international high school Albert Einstein “ “You will be able to play football on regular playground, oh, but even play ( take part in) a championship for bys of your age” His father said him. “ You can go to the pool, to the gym, you can do all the sports you want, when we will be there”
Peter was fourteen years old and had always lived in the small mountain town , where his was born, when his parents had said him that they had decided to move to the provincial capital city, which was not even a big city, but, compared with his small town( village) , it even could seem like a metropolis. He, Peter, hadn’t taken his parents decision well. Ah, his parents had taken that important, crucial decision without thinking at all how he would have considered it. They hadn’t taken him into accout, yes, they had decided for him, and this embittered him.
For some weeks now, every day, his parents did nothing but praise the wonders of the NEW LIFE that awaited him, there down, in the great city! Seeing him not at all happy, but rather sulky and almost sad, every day they went out to talk, to praise too, some new wonder of his new life there, in the city. He, Peter, was more and more sulk. It was evident that the idea of moving to the city did not thrill him at all. Then his mother had started asking him if he was sorry to have to leave his friends, perhaps his girl, if he had a girlfriend. Peter didn’t answer, he just shook his head , and went to lock himself in his room. “Do you mind maybe leaving the mountain? Do you regret not being able to take walks in the woods anymore? Look, as much as you like the mountain, life in the plain is more comfortable “ His father said him, looking at Peter with an ironic smile, which perhaps was indeed sly and mocking, as he meant : but you look at this poor fool , who does not understand the benefits of city life.
No, Peter had neither a girlfriend , nor friends that he particularly regretted leaving. The girls, oh, he found them unbearable, so much gruff they were….They were also great gossipers and often laughed at him. They, the girl, were always ready to made fun of him. His friends considered Peter a bit dumb, a bit retarded yes, and this was since he had a mild and almost thoughtful temperament. He didn’t like to fight as they often did. He didn’t even like smoking cigarettes and joints too, as they did in secret. Peter didn’t even like the beer which they drank in abundance. The boys of his age, his friends, if he could call them that, considered him , as to say, a bit behind them and not in step with the times. They were crazy about video games which he, instead, hated. Peter preferred to read or to take a walk alone in the woods. And it was precisely in the woods that he had met Pippi. For sure no one could imagine that it was precisely that delightful, lovely , little four legged creature which he didn’t have the heart to leave. Oh, in the woods there was not difficult to be able to see squirrels. But Pippi, he wasn’t a squirrel like everyone else. Pippi was his squirrel. The first time the little animal had appeared to Peter, or he had noticed him ( it) , indeed what had leapt to his eye, framed together the pointed snout and the dark eye of the little animal, had been THE BIG WALNUT, which the squirrel held between his slender and short front legs, stretched out as if they were arms to embrace that walnut which seemed very big, too big for such a small animal. He, Pippi, leaning ( sitting) on his hind legs, stood , with his body erect ( upright) on the branch of a cedar, near the trunk of the tree. With his tail which looked like a soft mop to remove the dust, raised as a victorious banner. Just before looking up and finding the squirrel, but indeed the walnut at first, in front of him, Peter had hear a rustle, like of leaves, and also a sound, a kind of FRIN-FRIN , that had made him think of the sounds or noise he happened sometimes to hear, walking in the woods, without being able to realize who was making those sounds. He, Peter called them the voices of the wind. As a child his grandmother had told him that, oh, those sounds were instead ( indeed) the voices of the gnomes and the fairies who lived in the wood, but who were invisible to almost all human beings. “ Ah, I can’t see them, but do they, the gnomes and the fairies, see me?” Peter had asked. “ Of course, they see you and sometimes it can happen that these invisible creatures , seeing you, say some words too, some comments on you….oh, but you cannot understand what they are saying” His grandmother had nodded energetically when she answered him. She had added that sometimes these ( those) creatures of the woods, invisible to humans, they could take the appearance of an animal, like a owl, like a hare, like a squirrel…. Not that Peter still believed what his grandmother had told him when he was a small child. But it happened that sometimes, when he met Pippi, he remembered it. That small little animal was a very marvelous wonder. When Peter saw him, the squirrel was almost always in movement, often climbing up the trunks of trees with an ease that left astonished. For that squirrel, which was his squirrel, it seemed to be the same ( as) moving on a ground floor or climbing up a tree. Indeed when his squirrel Pippi climbed a tree, he went faster than when he moved on the ground. Not that Pippi, for his appearance (aspect) was different from the other squirrels which Peter happened to see, walking in the woods. He, Pippi, had, like these other squirrels, a reddish fur that, in winter become rather burnt brown. He had the same large , long, soft tail , a tail which even seemed disproportionate, too voluminous, too wide, too long as it was, compared to the smallness of the (his) body. Still, he had the same dark eyes of the other squirrels, which, although smaller, had the same cut of the fawns eyes, the same cut and, it seemed to Peter, the same look ( glance). Yes, that looking with one eye, as if in passing, and even in fear, which yet every time said you: “It’s you, you are there….I saw you”
Even thought it had not been any characteristic ( peculiarity) of his aspect that had made Peter decide , soon after seeing him ( the squirrel) for the first time: here , this squirrel is my squirrel,nevertheless Pippi had just a detail which distinguished him from the squirrels of the same size and color. A LITTLE RED STAR stood out on Pippi white belly ( chest). Not that it was really a star, it was rather a little red stain ( patch) with the shape of an irregular quadrilateral, but for ( to) Peter it was a star.
The name PIPPI had come spontaneously to him the second or third time he had seen the squirrel.
“ PIPPI” seemed to fict perfectly with the small body and with the agile, very fast movements of the little animal, as with his protruding eyes, as with his very fast hopping and climbing.
Peter couldn’t help but be stunned, enchanted ( entraptured), as well as delighted, by Pippi (looking at Pippi) holding a walnut on the palm of his forelegs which, with their long forefingers, looked like hands to Peter. The squirrel, holding the walnut on the palm of his “ hands”, made it roll and , at the same time, he put his snout close the walnut, which he tested with his teeth to find where he could open it more easily. As it was very enchanting to see the little animal which, after having stuck his snout into the bark of a tree, began chewing thickly, fast fast, with clenched jaws . It was a really sight to see Pippi scratching and digging , whith his long-fingered paws under the snow, or under a carpet of leaves, in search of food.
Even if Peter had never been able to approach him, to touch him, he was sure not only to be recognized by Pippi, but also to be expected by him. If every time he came in the woods, he couldn’t wait to see his squirrel, Peter was sure that Pippi was waiting for him too.
Sometimes he had happened to see his squirrel jump from a branch to branch of a tree, that seemed to fly. He had seen flying squirrels on television, which launced into flight with their body deployed. They looked a little like a parachute, a little like a boat, and the air around them trembled, as they broke away from a tree to launch themselves into the void. He, Peter knew that Pippi was not a flying squirrel , but he would have liked so much to see him fly, as the ones he had seen on tv.
The day of the move to the city was approaching . Peter could not bear the thought he would leave his squirrel. The day before departure he went for a walk in the woods, anxious to meet, to see Pippi once again. He, walking, was agitated by whirling , disconnected thoughts. He would take Pippi with him, he couldn’t leave him, he couldn’t separate from him, he thought. Oh, but how would he do it? He wondered immediately after. But…where was Pippi? Was it possible that he didn’t show up that very day? Peter remained in the woods for a long time, hoping at every step to be able to see Pippi, but in vain. He called him, he even shouted his name : PIPPI! PIPPI! But Pippi did not appear. After hours in the woods, Peter saw…something, indeed someone flying up from a big oak, some distance away from him. But, of course, it was a flying squirrel, which was unfolding his body, just like a flying squirrel. Oh, but it couldn’t be Pippi……a moment, it perhaps was instead Pippi! Yes, Pippi, which had become a flying squirrel . Ah, but to be sure it was Pippi. he had to see the squirrel more closely. While the squirrel, which had taken flight, was moving away fast, a little prancing, Peter started running. He had to reach that flying squirrel. Who knows if Peter was able to catch up with that squirrel, and who knows if that squirrel was Pippi. Peter did not come home from his walk in the woods. It was as if he wanted to stay with Pippi forever.