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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Carleton Cryptids: the whitened wildlife of the Weitz

Greetings, fellow mystery-seekers of Carleton College. I am Sue Dounim, class of 202X. I am new to this campus—but not to this college. Long have I immersed myself up to the neck in documenting the inexplicable, often paranormal occurrences that occur here as frequently as games of spikeball in spring.

I trust you will eventually acquiesce to my presence here every week. You need not laugh. My writings are not for your pleasure.  They are for your safety.

Recently, while out for a stroll by the Weitz Center for Creativity (I had just finished examining the ceiling hangings), I spotted what appeared, at first glance, to be the fluffy entrails of a stuffed toy. Yet fluff, dear reader, does not scamper up trees, chitter and twitch adorably. That is what squirrels do. Only this “squirrel” was sheer white.

Note that this is obviously not a squirrel. That much is obvious; animals do not simply become white. There is no biological phenomena that causes irregular whiteness in organisms. The “squirrel” is obviously some sort of phantasm—that much is clear. And all specters are sentient. But why would this one choose to soldier through the lowly life of a rodent? And why in front of the Weitz Center, of all places? It takes forever to get there, especially if you are coming from the great beyond. 

This “squirrel” is, in fact, a guardian spirit. Specifically, it is a creative spirit. It is familiar with our world—perhaps it is an ancestral member of the Weitz family or a being beyond the earthy ether of our minds. In any case, this spirit was likely attracted to the campus by its rich foliage and richer minds. Yet it soon grew disillusioned with the minutiae of college life. After all, we students go almost exclusively upon two legs, eat non-scavenged food and engage in chitter-free debates. But this spirit has assumed the form of an animal outside the most creative building on campus. It is literally engaging in performance art, reminding us humans what we have lost—or, more accurately, given away. Yet we ignore its message, snapping perhaps a photo or two as we march, backs sweating against their packs, to the next class. Shame on us.

For all my cynicism, forget not that this is a benevolent, wish-granting spirit. If we take a walk into its world, it will scamper through ours. As I writhed on the ground, snarfling acorns and fleeing from passersby, I asked the spiritual squirrel to show me its spectral nuts.

I don’t believe it understood quite what I was asking, but the sentiment was nice.

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