Archie

Hey there, I am Archie. Mistress MacKenzie’s flying squirrel. And secretarty.
And, some nights, her boyfriend. Please contact SSPC now and get me the hell outa here. I am an endangered squirrel.

Archie - The Flying Squirrel
Archie – Flying Squirrel & Secretary

She is keeping me captive here in her haunted guest house without my consent. I am an educated squirrel and I know my rights. I also have a law degree, so I also know my wrongs.

Meantime, please send me in any variation of nuts, seeds, small insects and pizza. Mistress MacKenzie keeps feeding me her disastrous bog bean, and I have an allergy to it. I might die soon if I don’t get some proper sustainance, fast!

I have never harmed anyone in my life. Except a few small birds, some centipedes and the occasional tourist. But most of them were asking for it. Who the hell uses a flying squirrel as transport?  Yeah, that happens. Unbelievable, I know!

I’d fly away myself but, despite my description, I cannot actually fly. Just glide. And, although I have tried to glide back to North America – it is not even possible from the vantage point of the attic window in The Midgie View Guest Hoose – no matter how big a leap I make I somehow always end up entangled in Mistress MacKenzies Pantaloon’s that permanetly hang from the criss-cross washing lines. It’s all terribly confusing.

To let you understand what you are dealing with here and how you can help me, here is some more information about me and what I need. Please send help soon. Thank you.

Description:  I am a flying squirrel from Idahoe, North America. My belly fur is gray at the base. I am not capable of true powered flight that a bird or a bat can do. I am just a squirrel. I have drempt of being a bird, but, sadly, that was just an old flight dream. I do have a special membrane between my front and back legs that allows me to glide through the air between Mistress MacKenzie’s bloomers. If I want to travel to another tree without touching the ground, I have to launch myself from a very high branch and spread out my limbs so that the gliding membrane is exposed. Mistress MacKenzie sometimes gets a thrill from that. She is very lonely. I use slight movements of the legs to steer myself, and I’m quite good at that, and my tail acts as a brake upon reaching my destination. Flying squirrels can cover more than 150 feet in a single glide! IF they are looked after properly. I CANNOT LIVE OFF BOG-BEAN ALONE. This is why I might die soon. And Idahoe is very far away. Much more than 150 feet.

Size:  I am at least 10 to 12 inches long. That is why Mistress MacKenzie wants me for her boyfriend. I am the only living creature who knows why Master Whillie McGleon constantly rejects her.

Diet:  Flying squirrels are omnivores. I eat a variety of foods including seeds, nuts, fungi, insects and pizza. And I really love Ben & Jerry Ice Cream – Chunky Monkey. Thanks.

Predation: Flying squirrels make great escape artists, thanks to our superb gliding abilities. Once a flying squirrel lands on a tree trunk following a flight, we promptly scurry to the other side of the trunk to avoid any predators that may have followed us. Nevertheless, owls, hawks, tree snakes, and climbing mammals frequently manage to catch and consume us. Happily, Mistress MacKenzie has an eye like a tree snake. So, she normally kills the predators before they consume me and she then stuffs them with sawdust and hangs them around the Reception Area as decoration. You will see what I mean when you visit The Midgie View Guest Hoose.

Typical Lifespan:  Flying squirrels can live up to 10 years in captivity, or about half of that in the wild. So, on the upside, if Mistress MacKenzie had not captured me when she did, I would already be dead. That’s something I suppose.

Habitat:  Flying squirrels live in deciduous and coniferous forests and woodlands. NORMALLY!!! NOT in the ATTIC LOFT of a MAD OLD LADY in a HAUNTED GUEST HOUSE in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE SOMEWHERE IN SCOTLAND!!! We normally make our homes in snags, woodpecker holes, boxes, and abandoned nests of birds. But I have a small basket next to the roaring fire in the kitchen, along with a fine well-appointed bedroom in the bespoke loft conversion. So, really, I cannot complain too much. The thing I do miss most about not being around other squirrels is that sometimes in the wild, multiple squirrels will nest together to keep warm in the winter. So, I do miss their companionship. But not the snakes.

Range: The Northern flying squirrel has a patchy distribution, but we are found primarily in the northeast, along the west coast, into Idaho and Montana. I am from Idaho. I do miss my family there. But, one day, I do hope they get a strong westerly wind and manage to glide across. My hopes were fairly raised during Hurricane Bawbag, but, alas, there were no sightings of any of them. Not even one distant second cousin once removed. Still, I live in hope.

Life History and Reproduction: The northern flying squirrel mates once per year, when not living in capitvity in a Scottish haunted guest house loft conversion. When the young are born, they rely on their mothers to care for them for two months. So, if I do find a lady flying squirrel from Idahoe here in the North of Scotland, I’d hope to be able to take some Paternity leave. Chance would be a fine thing, eh? She’s a bloody slave driver. Literally.

Fun Fact: Humans have long been envious of the flying squirrel’s gliding abilities. Base jumpers and skydivers have developed a special suit that mimics the flying squirrel. The suit works to slow their descent and allows them to maneuver through the air. Thankfully, most of them die. I’m hoping Mistress MacKenzie tries it soon.

Conservation Status: Flying squirrels are common rodents in many parts of the country, but because they are nocturnal, few people ever see them. So, fat chance I have of finding a girlfriend. Two subspecies of northern flying squirrel are federally listed as endangered due to habitat loss. I do live in hope that I am on that list and the fed’s are out looking for me as we speak.

Meantime,  if you want to ask me anything about my life as a flying squirrel, please just drop a wee line across to @MistressMacKenz using the hashtag #AskArchie and the code name #ImNotTryingToSpringArchieHonest

And, if you can find me and return me to my family and natural habitat, I would be forever in your debt. I’d quite like not to die.

Meantime, if you could manage a spot of pizza and some Chunky Monkey – that’d be great. Thank you kindly.

Archie.

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