dedicated to a one, Ms. L. Peanut.
Donnie was a very theatrical squirrel who one could say was both strange and normal, whimsical and staid. His best friend was Tolson the skunk and together they had many adventures across the forests and fields. Sometimes the pair would ride down the rivers on a raft made from birch bark, other days they traversed the corn fields by flying from stalk to stalk. They had many wonderful times together. Then one day, everything changed.
It was a day in mid-November, with chilled winds, a day preparing for snow. Donnie and Tolson were out on a mountain when the wind became too much, the air too bitter; the pair was forced to cut their trip short and head back. They made it under the cover of trees when the snow began to fall heavily without remorse. Icy snow clung to their fur and weighed them down. Tolson was stronger, larger, and could hold on despite the driving winds that came at them from all directions, so it was Donnie who was swept up by the ferocious gust that caught them as they tried to cross a ravine.
From the ground Tolson watched as the blustery, unforgiving wind lifted Donnie up and carried him away. Tolson yelled out and scampered up the sides of the ravine, but the spiralling gusts of wind slammed him back onto the rocky ground.
Not one to give up easily, Tolson ran, keeping an eye on his friend in the air. Only when the sun had gone to sleep did the wind deposit Donnie on an island. Tolson saw his friend land safely, albeit very far away, a gulf of water between them. The water was moving faster than the rivers they usually went down on their birch bark rafts, and churning with white foam.
Tolson sat on the ridge high above the water and waved to his friend, but he grew worried; Donnie did not wave back.
Then, Tolson saw something that made him smile - his friend was flying. The gusts of wind that had sent Donnie far away were now helping propel him toward the mainland. Tolson was startled; he had never before seen his friend fly and he wondered where he got his wings.
When Donnie landed Tolson noticed extra flaps of skin at Donnie’s sides.
“Donnie, have you sprouted wings?” asked Tolson.
Not wings. I’m a flying squirrel, it only appears as if I fly.”
“But why weren’t you able to land?”
“I never encountered such a wind tunnel before, I usually only use my ‘flying’ when we play in the cornfields.”
“I never knew,” said Tolson, “but I wondered how you weren’t scared, like me, when we went from stalk to stalk.”
Donnie and Tolson flew from tree to tree together on their way home, Donnie carrying his friend. Never once did Tolson fall and by the end of their trip he was no longer scared. The pair continued their adventures and even returned to the ridge on calm days, the journey quicker now that Donnie had mastered how to fly.