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.