Nicole Squirrel, 49

A beloved wife, mother, sister and friend, Nicole Squirrel died suddenly on Friday late afternoon in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. While trying to reach for an acorn, she fell from a tree into oncoming traffic. Her death was immediate. Nicole, known by her close friends and family as “Nicky,” was a hard working, stay-at-home squirrel. The parishioners in her bible study group at St. Matthew’s called her a true Proverbs 31 Squirrel.

Nicky’s real passion in life was her miniature acorn portraits, a skill passed down to her from her ancestors, an art form dating back to the early 1800’s. The tiny likenesses require a skill rarely duplicated outside Eastern Pennsylvania. Some have called acorn painting “kitschy,” but insiders understand how truly artistic and cherished these miniatures are. One family member—identifying himself only as Cousin Pauly—said in regards to Nicole’s character as well as her caricatures, “Yous guys need to know this. Nicky’s nuts were worth an upwards of fifty bucks per. But she was too generous. She even gave her nuts to some grasshoppa’s. She was an angel, that Nicky. God rest her soul.”

Nicky’s portraits are characterized by tousled hair, highlighted with broad sweeping brush strokes and cinnamon colored eyes.

At her memorial, Nicky’s grieving family comforted each other with memories and anecdotes about Nicky’s tail always being stained with whatever paint she’d last used. Nicky’s family asks that if you own a miniature portrait painted by Nicole Squirrel that you’d respect the worth of the acorn and not eat it if the winter ever runs long. Any families wishing to donate their acorns back to the family should be assured that the miniature will be added to a collection that will be displayed in the Second Oak to the Left Museum in the front yard of the Barnes Foundation in Philly’s city center.

Nicole Squirrel-1
(Guest Photographer: Richard Braud, Lansdale PA)
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Charles Opossum, 40

Charles Opossum, the quiet entrepreneur who, as Baby Charlie, captured national attention after falling into an abandoned well, died on Wednesday night. He was 40.

The cause of death was minivan, according to tire and bumper impressions.

Sporting bright, beady eyes and a rosy nose, Charles Opossum reluctantly spent his life in the public eye. He was born, with six others, on January 7, 1972, to a schoolteacher and a traveling musician. A gentle child, he gained fame at the tender age of four months after he wandered from his mother’s back and tumbled into a well near the family’s tree. Rescuers labored for nearly three days to free Baby Charlie, who, throughout the ordeal, remained perfectly still on his side.

News footage of the harrowing event spread like wildfire, and before long, the nation sported Baby Charlie fever. Unauthorized biographies, including the bestseller Too Close to Not Fall: The Baby Charlie Story, followed, as did the television movie, Out of the Hole, into our Hearts: Rescuing Baby Charlie. As to be expected, overexposure of young Charles led to eventual backlash, with several opossum groups questioning the media’s ultimate intentions in shining the spotlight on Baby Charlie. It has been argued that the term “media circus” originated out of this disgust.

“I never quite got used to the attention,” Charles said in a 2008 interview. “To be perfectly honest, it isn’t in my nature to engage in much of anything.” He confessed to years of professional coaching, which he said helped him “not just drop to the ground” when approached by photographers and television cameras.

In 1995, Charles received a trust fund of donations worth an estimated $200,000. With this money he opened his first successful business, Do-It-Quik Abandoned Well Fillers. That same year he began a scholarship program targeting young, underserved opossums. Further business ventures included Baby Charlie’s Lil’ Tyke Tethers, Baby Charlie’s Lil’ Tyke Trackers, and C.O. Industries, a communications firm and think tank.

Charles Opossum never married. He is survived by his siblings, Christopher, Caleb, Clay, Chelsea, Caitlin, and Chantel. The family asks for privacy during this time of mourning.

Charles Opossum
©2012 David Braud Photography
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Moldavia Rabbit, 73

Beloved literature professor Mrs. Moldavia Rabbit, was killed instantly on Saturday night on Old Hillsboro Rd., only meters from her burrow. She was returning from a late night poetry slam where it is rumored, the local “Rotten Peach Moonshine” was in abundance. Despite her auditory prowess, she did not hear the stealthy Prius until it was too late. Her latest work, The Tell Tale Heartache, The Life and Work of Edgar Allen Poe, will be released posthumously in July 2012.

Mrs. Moldavia Rabbit
©2012 David Braud Photography
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