You are very welcome!!! If you haven’t read Parts 1-3 of The Adventures of Nutasha the Squirrel, do not fear. It’s so seldom that we see the whole trajectory of our favorite protagonists. Unless you’re the parents, but not everyone needs to procreate. The woods are getting crowded. Sometimes, you even meet a creature and say, “I’m ready! The next 20 minutes are your sacred, designated time to bear your soul.” But it might not be the right day for that creature. You don’t know—they could’ve gotten stuck in some thistles on their way to meet you. How can you expect them to communicate all of their hopes, dreams, fears, and personal histories if they have thorns sticking out of their butt fur? Here’s everything you need to know about our favorite furry little friend to jump into her story:
Nutasha was born in The United Forests
her grove had a monoculture diet of nuts
she never doubted the goodness and nutritional value of nuts
that is, of course, until she stumbled into a community of young squirrels
these squirrels loved to climb high into the stratosphere and jump!!!
this daredevil crew had innovated new ways to consume nuts
packed into patties, mixed with other ingredients
all kinds of savory, sweet, and progressive recipes
Nutasha was forever changed. Her love for nuts never waned. It evolved.
There are quite obviously many more facts (She’s lived a whole life after all), but it’s time to transition. Not ready for the change? Tough nuts. Nothin’ you can do about it.
Nutasha, as we know, is now living in the North of Ireland. She has dyed her fur red to explore this part of the world without drawing too much attention. But she’s glad it’s henna because she’s actually proud of her splotchy grey tufts, and she’s ready to let her weird and wiry hair puff wild. Her gaze is upward, watching the stars pop into view one by one—almost in sync with the pitter patter of her nails on the asphalt. She is mindlessly, mindfully making her way home to the tree at the top of the slope.
Then, she glances to her left. A jacked, tattooed iguana is sitting in the shadows. Nutasha knows a thing or two about empathy towards iguanas. Her years with the daredevil crew taught her to be an athlete of the heart. She studied mirror neurons, recalibrating her nerves and tissues through the study of movement. This re-patterning instilled a habit of energetic availability. After some time, she began to believe that empathy is a muscle that can be toned like any other. She wondered if her ancestral squirrels worshipped nuts to flex that muscle.
All of this has transpired in an instant. Her eyes lock with the iguana. Her legs make the decision for her, magnetically pulling her closer.
“Hi there!” she blurts
His spine perks up. He wants to be in a pair.
Nutasha hates pears, by the way. Just in case that’s relevant. Make her eat a pear in a pair and you’ll wish you’d never been born.
He clears his throat. From beneath a bed of nettles, he pulls out a pamphlet. It’s about The Man Nut.
As a female squirrel, Nutasha has another secret skill. Code-switching. Without skipping a beat, she adopts a fluency in his vocab.
“Oh, wow, what’s that, nutty brother?”
“Well,” he says with a wink, “I think you already know what’s in here. Do you happen to enjoy a good trail mix?”
“I’ve been known to nibble.”
She’s batting her eyelashes. Her tail is tucked neatly between her legs. A small pit has formed in her stomach. It reminds her that she is small. It reminds her to follow. She interrupts these sensations, cultivating the world’s tiniest rebellion. You could place a flag on a toothpick to commemorate the scene.
“Um—I just wanted to let you know. If you want to stop by my tree sometime, we have some nice, warm, roasted nuts.”
Is she being self-righteous? Does this iguana give a flying nut about nuts?
“That’s so sweet, darling. Who else lives in your tree?”
She’s living in an intentional community. It was started by nut-lovers. Originally, they were all red squirrels. But word got out, and different critters moved in. Some of the animals love nuts more than the air they breathe. Some of them have doubts about nuts. Some of them call protein sources by other names. Some of them want to make nut butter without an existential pondering of The Original Source. See, the thing about an intentional community is that the intentions aren’t all the same. Everybody’s intending something—that can be sure. Intentional, international ambiguity doesn’t seem like a palatable description for this iguana. Also, that’s kind of a creepy thing to ask. Time has flexed again, weaving this paragraph into the fabric of one second.
“Oh, you know. A bunch of nutballs.”
“That’s good!” He says. “I’ll walk there with you now.”
Nutasha is a beautiful squirrel. This didn’t require comment in the previous exposition because the sun hadn’t yet set. The red-hot orb of gas, visibility, and increased physical security is dipping beneath the rolling horizon. Nuts. She doesn’t want to walk 40 minutes with this intimidating iguana.
He is walking beside her. She accepts her new reality with trepidation. She wishes an older squirrel had taught her how to assert boundaries. She decides that wouldn’t be nice or polite. Her inner thighs are beginning to yell, “Who gives a nut’s nut about polite and nice?! Those are constructs, silly squirrel, and you are going to be assaulted in the tall grass around the next bend!!!”
“So,” He jumps right in, “What’s your favorite story about The Man Nut?”
Nutasha is fuming. She wants to listen to music and walk alone.
“I don’t know.”
Turns out, the iguana simply wants permission to speak. He’s off to the races. He chatters about his name, Big Bill the Iguana. He is talking about how he lives in tents on top of mountains to get better listening reception for messages from The Man Nut. Nutasha can’t help herself. She is fascinated. She asks how he affords this lifestyle. Big Bill the Iguana proclaims with unwavering confidence that The Man Nut provides for all of his needs. To Nutasha, it sounds an awful lot like other animals step in to help him when he’s in need. In return, he preaches to them about The Man Nut. Nutasha has never been one for preaching. (The irony here is intense, readers. Don’t miss The Adventures of Nutasha the Squirrel Part 15 when she attends a school for preachers.)
The conversation gains traction. They are sharing about family relations. Hope bubbles in Nutasha’s chest. A genuine connection! She could be loved and lifted! Healed and held by this iguana with radically different nut preferences!
They are singing now. Yup, that’s right. While hugging the rugged coastline, padding along the winding path, they are gleefully singing, “When the Nuts Go Marching In.” Waves are tripping over themselves and crashing into the rocks below. Salty sprays are making Nutasha’s fur wavy. It’s all very dramatic and poetic and wholesome and fun.
Big Bill the Iguana is very glad that he’s met Nutasha. He believes that it is his nut-given duty to guide gullible, unintelligent squirrels towards the truth about nuts. He tells Nutasha that this is his purpose. She looks him in the eyes.
“If that’s true, and I was designed to be your helper as you say, then I hope that I can help you see that I am capable of so much more.”
She face palms in her brain. Her grammar is a steaming pile of nutshells. That was important, and she blew it.
Big Bill the Iguana is getting flustered.
“Wait. Which version of The Nutty Tales do you read?”
Nutasha answers. Big Bill is horrified.
“That’s not the right one!”
“There’s more than one!”
“No there’s not!”
It’s getting a little elementary up in here, but what can you expect? A squirrel and an iguana are talking about nuts and you’re still reading. You did this.
Big Bill wants an easy out. He’s trying to make Nutasha fight with him so that he can blame her for being a nut and walk away.
Instead, she makes him a piping hot nut brew. He drinks it. He starts making a mess. He doesn’t realize how many times she has cleaned the floor beneath his claws.
She is determined. Her blood is pumping, her nose crinkled in thought, her shoulders released.
If you want a satisfying ending, you are in for a bummer, folks. Big Bill the Iguana leaves in a huff. Nutasha tells him as he leaves, “I still enjoyed our time together. Singing was fun. I hope I may run into you again.” She isn’t sure whether she’s lying. She’s definitely exhilarated, but maybe she has tapped into the same desire to win that he has. Maybe she’s manipulative.
She never sees Big Bill the Iguana again. He moves to another forest.
All for the love of nuts.