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Squirrels' Quarrels

Second Draft based on "Revised First Act" (Saturday, June 16th)
I just finished watching all the videos from "Getting Started with Your Story" and am again finding myself wanting to change my story. After watching the "Your Visuals" videos, he suggested bringing the story back down to the basic 7 points, one sentence each. I tried to break down my "first revised act" into the first three bullet points but ended up making it the entire story instead. I now want to evolve this story into a cautionary tale, advising against raising wild animals in captivity. The current 7 point outline below is told from the perspective of the narrorator.

  1. Once upon a time...
    a shy young girl decides to "rescue" a baby squirrel she finds after it has fallen out of its nest.
  2. And Every Day...
    the young girl plays with the baby squirrel and she thinks that the way he climbs on her, cuddles with her, and nibbles on her is cute.
  3. Until One Day...
    it's time for the young girl to return to school.
  4. And Because of this...
    she doesn't have time for the baby squirrel any more, who spends most of his time alone in his cage, seeking her attention.
  5. And Because of this...
    the young squirrel gets older (sharper claws and teeth) becomes too painful for the girl to play with him.
  6. Until Finally...
    she decides to release the squirrel to a animal rehabilitation center (rescue, rehabilitate, release).
  7. And Ever Since That Day...
    the squirrel is successfully reintroduced into the wild and the girl learns a valuable lesson not to take in wild animals.

Revised "First Act"  (Saturday, June 16th)
I wasn't really feeling the beginning of my story, so I rewrote it. Originally, I was going to make a majority of this information the "back story" on the bully squirrel and how he became the way he was. Then, I decided that his whole back story was stronger as an introduction, so this is my revised first act. I will come back later and rework the second/third act based on this new introduction. It could be the focus of the squirrel learning to trust. He doesn't play nice with other squirrels because he was raised in captivity. He never learned to properly socialize, communicate, or how to relate to the wild squirrels. However, he is bigger than them due to a posh diet as a household pet and therefore intimidates the other squirrels by eating their food or taking over their nests. I am considering changing it to he does this because he doesn't know how to fend for himself and in the story he learns how through them. The theme of the story would be acceptance and learning how to trust?

  1. Once Upon a Time...
    At the beginning of June, a mama squirrel has an unexpectantly large litter of 8 and by the time they reach 4 weeks of age, the nest she built for them is no longer large enough. While she is away from the nest, one of the babies accidentally gets pushed out by the others. By the time she returns and realizes that one of her babies is missing, it is too late for her to retrieve him. A younge girl has already found the young baby squirrel and decided to "rescue" it.
  2. And every day...
    Things start off great for the the baby squirrel. The young girl that found him thinks he is the cutest thing. He is so gentle and cuddly that she pursuades her parents that she can take care of him and make him a family pet. She plays with him, gives him a lot of attention and feeds him all the time. She loves how he climbs up her leg and cuddles her neck. She even thinks it is cute that he nibbles her ear lobes once he gets up there. She doesn't leave the house much and carries the squirrel with her everywhere. Things aren't completely perfect though. The squirrel has started biting other members of the family and the mom suggests getting a cage for the squirrel so she can enter her daughters room without getting bit by the squirrel. Plus, school is starting soon.
  3. Until one day...
    Summer is over. It's the beginning of September and time for the girl to go back to school. The first few weeks, she makes sure to spend time with the squirrel. She still takes him out of his cage and carries him around as she does her homework.

    By the second month of school, she is involved in a number of extra curricular activities and doesn't have time for the squirrel anymore. She sees him long enough to feed him and clean his cage. When she does take him out of his cage, all the "cute" things he did as a baby are starting to hurt. He draws blood when he climbs up her legs. His nibbles don't just tickle.

    The squirrel doesn't realize that he is hurting her. All he wants is her attention and doesn't know how else to get it. He continues to nip at her and claw her trying to get it until she just gets mad. She doesn't think this is fun anymore and decides to release the squirrel.

  4. And because of this...
  5. And because of this...
  6. Until finally...
  7. And ever since that day...

First Draft (Monday, June 10, 2013)
I wrote this first draft at 3am in the morning and forgot to post it. It is very basic and still needs a lot of work. The idea for this story stemmed from a conversation about neighborhood squirrel wars: a visual of squirrels shooting nuts at each other. As I tried to write a story around that, it evolved into something else.

  1. Once Upon a Time:
    There are number of squirrels who live in the same tree. But this story focuses on two of them: a big bully squirrel who picks on all the other squirrels and a friendly squirrel who is always there to help them out afterward.
  2. And every day…
    The big bully squirrel constantly picks fights with the other squirrels. He steals their food. He chases them to the point of exhaustion and clumsiness. He never actually hurts them though. 
  3. until one day…
    The big bully squirrel injures the friendly squirrel by knocking him out of air mid-jump. He crashes down, hitting tree branch after tree branch. (Animal Attack of Some Sort?)
  4. and because of this…
    The friendly squirrel is unable to move/walk/climb but all the other squirrels help him get back to his hole. Unable to gather food on his own, he resorts to eating the food he was stashing away for winter. Friendly squirrel was previously the number 1 harvester so with less competition, the bully squirrel's hole was filling up with food.So much, that the bully squirrel started sleeping right outside of his hole.The other squirrels would occasionally snicker at him sleeping outside.He would constantly go tease the friendly squirrel about his running out of food. (towards winter)
  5. and because of this…
    Winter Sets in. The other squirrels also have an abundance of nuts which left them too close to the edge of their holes for winter. They were cold. They all bring food and come to stay with the friendly squirrel in his big empty hole. The bully squirrel is being stubborn and just "brushes it off". He pretends that he is okay even though he is freezing. 
  6. until finally…
    Hail, Frozen rain. Broken tree limbs. any sense of shelter, gone for the bully squirrel. He is turning blue. Seeing this, the friendly squirrel, with a limp invites the bully squirrel to come and stay with him and the rest. Bully squirrel feels bad about his past and sees the value of friendship/community/helping hands...
  7. and ever since that day…
    He starts getting along with the other squirrels. Interacting with them on a more positive note. etc. Peace offering nut to eat squirrel.

Squirrel Notes & References (Ongoing)

  • http://www.mary.cc/squirrels/tametowild.htm

  • Eastern Gray Squirrels Breed Twice a Year (Dec-Feb) and (May-Jun). Litters born (Feb-March) and *Jun-Jul). Normally 2-6, but can be as high as 8 in a litter. Gestation period 44 days. Weaned at 7 weeks. Leave nest at 10 weeks.

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