According to The Transylvania Times; “Brevard’s white squirrels originated from a carnival animal truck. According to Brevard resident Mrs. W.E. Mull, a pair of white squirrels was given to her brother-in-law, H.H. Mull, by Mr. Black of Madison, Florida, in 1949. A carnival truck had overturned near Black’s home and the squirrels were caught by Mr. Black when he observed them playing in his pecan grove.
Mull gave the critters to his niece, Barbara, who unsuccessfully tried to breed them. In 1951 she married and left home. Eventually, one of the white squirrels escaped and Mr. Mull soon let the other one go. Before long, the squirrels began breeding in the wild and appeared in several areas of town.”
My wife and I travel to Brevard, NC regularly to hike, ride our mountain bikes, eat, drink beer at Oskar Blues Brewery or just to goof off. It is a small, quaint and friendly mountain town that I continue to threaten my family that I am going to move too…..soon!
Brevard’s official mascot is the white squirrel which the town displays everywhere. You can buy toy white squirrels in most shops. It adorns t-shirts, hats and refrigerator magnets. There are even metal white squirrels on top of the traffic signals. There are fake white squirrels everywhere in Brevard but as much time as my wife and I have spent in this town we had never seen a live one and I had concluded that their existence was all a hoax. But that all changed yesterday.
Saturday was a wash-out, rainy and cold. I piddled around the house washing and drying my clothes, rearranging my sock drawer, and watching the Masters. The weather guru’s weren’t calling for rain Sunday just cloudy and cold. I hatched a plan to get my wife out of the house Sunday, head to Brevard, walk 5 miles or so on the trail and drink a beer at Oskar Blues after Church.
We parked the car at Oskar’s and started the two and half mile trek to downtown.
When we got to the end of the trail we decided to walk through one of the residential areas. My wife excitedly said there was a white squirrel sitting on the porch of the house in front of us. Given how many fake squirrels I had seen around town I chalked this one up to being a statue of some kind as well. But it wasn’t.
We followed the squirrel down the street trying to get a picture and stumbled upon two more at a bird feeder. Three in one day. We finally got the picture we wanted and started heading back towards the trail when another white squirrel darted across the street in front of us. Four in one day. Pretty amazing.
After countless days of hiking, walking and pedaling throughout Brevard I think we hit the white squirrel quota in just one day. But the day wasn’t over.
Heading back home we decided to stop in Travelers Rest, SC, a small town outside of my community to grab dinner. After eating, we were driving through a subdivision looking at houses when we saw another white squirrel sitting in a yard. Five! Five in one day in two different towns.
In my 57 years of living I had never seen one of these elusive creatures and in just one day I had seen five. I don’t know if it is good luck or bad luck. Heck for all I know seeing a white squirrel means you are going to die soon. But just in case, I bought two lottery tickets yesterday on the happen chance that it was good luck. Who knows, maybe I win the lottery but kick the bucket before I can even collect. If that’s the case, damn white tomato stealing tree rats.