Flying Squirrels

And Other Gifts

By Karlene Bayok Edwards

At dusk they came gliding through the branches of the Ponderosa pines, floating on skin outstretched between paws fore and aft, silent, intent on insects.

Arriving at ground level, they turned and raced up trunks for another foray. Some evenings the nearest neighbors to our home outside McCall brought lawn chairs to join us as we watched the flying squirrels, marveling in whispers at their skill. Years later, when I described these evenings to my Arizonan husband, he thought I was joking. The only flying squirrel of his acquaintance was Rocky of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show cartoons. I had to find an online movie clip from National Geographic to prove they existed.

As a child, I took these rarely seen creatures for granted, just as I did the other gifts waiting for me on the edge of the wild. After leaving Idaho for school in Tucson, I discovered, blessedly, that I could summon these memories, these manifestations of grace.

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Karlene Bayok Edwards

About Karlene Bayok Edwards

Karlene Bayok Edwards grew up in McCall and graduated from McCall-Donnelly High School. She volunteered at the McCall Library and later had a thirty-four-year career as a school librarian. She earned degrees in English literature and library science in Arizona, where she and her husband settled. Now retired, she writes from the vivid memories of her childhood and from the Idaho backcountry stories told by her parents, Joe and Marcella Bayok.

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