My friend Brandee drew this wonderful picture that is also my header. It is a picture she imagined of me after hearing me say that I used to be “Queen of the Squirrels”. It was a twitter conversation that set her mind a whirling with an idea for a drawing and this is what she came up with.
I have to tell you that it is almost exactly how it was when I was a child. Granted, I wasn’t literally surrounded by this wonderful menagerie of animals – although there were a few squirrels, my pet wolf Klumka and maybe a couple cats. But there was a stump and I did stand on it pretending to address an audience of forest critters.
I was probably around eight years old at the time and I lived out in the country on a beautiful piece of property. My dad built me a playground with my very own merry-go-round that looked sort of like a teeter totter bench but had a type of ball bearing in the middle so that it would go round and round. I spent many a happy hour on that merry-go-round. I also had a log-cabin playhouse and a swing. At one point I even had a tipi. A big one at that! I was very fortunate, I know that.
The playground was on a gently sloping hill set off from the house and partially in the woods, dotted with birch and popple trees, circled by a hedge of evergreens. It was my own little world and I loved it. Everything I had was handmade and built by my dad. He is a very talented man who can build anything. Yes, my father had his moments and he could shine bright and beautifully when he wanted to.
That is the part of him I love and miss.
My stump was at the top of the slope looking out over my playground. There, I stood as I ensured the little creatures of the forest that I would always protect them and speak for them on their behalf. The trees were my court, my wise advisors. They along with the woodland animals elected me Queen of the Squirrels, their noble protector and loving friend. I’m not sure why I was Queen of the Squirrels and not Queen of the Forest Creatures but that was what I came up with at the time so go figure. 🙂 I was a highly imaginative child. I had to be. I had no one to play with so my pets and the trees were my friends. It was a grand childhood.
This drawing brought it all back to me and I wanted to share with you the story behind it. Brandee is trying to convince me to write a children’s story about this and I’m thinking I shall. 🙂