5 - Gray Squirrel the Squeakquel

Abigail Black 11/15/2023
September 7, 2022. With the number of squirrels in my area, I'm getting the impression decomposition projects featuring them will be a dime a dozen. Having not heard the tragedy of Darth Rodentus the Wise, this one crossed the road and failed to look both ways. Or, it panicked in the middle of the street and tried to backtrack. In either case, it never made it off the asphalt. I cried for the repair work I'll need to perform on its skull as I brought it home. Why must squirrels headbutt cars?

September 11. I've never seen this many larvae, good gracious. This looked to be a fast turnout.

September 13. Well. The head was gone, but that was expected. None of the limbs were in the same place, either. Hello, ribs!

August 25, 2023. Aha, ha. No pictures again, of the harvest or curing, but I went through the motions of harvest, hydrogen peroxide bath, toothbrush scrub, and sunbath. The aluminum tin sat on my desk for several months until I had some spare time. I had gotten a plastic artist's Lazy Susan for my birthday (thanks, mom!), and it's a lovely shade of black which contrasts so nicely with the white of the bones, making them much easier to see! So I organized the bones by location and limb. Some of the phalanges were missing, but that was expected. I swear they have to wash away in rainstorms or something. Ignore the glue tube. I replace it with a different brand.

September 2. I glued the phalanges first. My favorite superglue is the small gray Gorilla version. It's not very drippy and while it takes several hours to fully harden I can let go of two bones after ten minutes and they won't come apart. It also peels off the plastic Lazy Susan without too much fuss. I used the same printout from the first squirrel to fix the skull.

September 3. I got the vertebrae all in a line with the pelvis, tail, and ribs. I'm basing the positions off a sketch I do before I start gluing. I'm wanting the reassembled squirrel to look like it's climbing down a tree.

September 3. Same day, more progress. I flipped it onto its back so gravity settles the limbs in place, with a tape roll and the skull to keep it upright.

September 4. Pay no attention to the extra mandible in the background! It belongs to a third squirrel who was hit in the body, not the head, so I was just keeping the skull for display and needed a place to put the mandible. Its teeth are out, you see. Anywho, I took some jewelry wire and made a loop in the center for a screw hole, then glued the two ends to the bottom of the feet. When that was dry, I glued on the skull.

September 4. Same day. I took the skeleton outside in a cardboard box lid and sprayed it down with poly. There's the brand I use. It dries in less than ten minutes.

And voila! I mounted the squirrel on a partition wall in my room and realized far too late that I forgot that squirrels splay their limbs when hanging onto a tree, not this gravity-defying crouch I have going. Eh. I think it looks fine.