All good tales must come to an end. And now we must wrap up one that started this spring, when we introduced thousands of you to someone many already knew and loved — the easy, breezy, beautiful cover squirrel of downtown Southern Pines. Stubby / Bob / Bobbie / Baby / Beatrice, who was inexplicably missing 3/4ths of her tail, passed away earlier this month after years spent inspiring the construction of several treehouses and trips to the peanut aisle.
She was found unresponsive by Sue Middleton, of Southern Salt Spa, who called her Bobbie. “As long as I’ve been working here, she’s always been around,” she says. “I didn’t expect to be this emotional about it, but we all are.”
Molly Schrader, of Retro Studio Bar, says she first encountered the “badass squirrel” when her tail was raw. Little by little, she watched the wound heal. Later, the squirrel she and salon co-owner Megan Weitzel thought was a “scholar and a gentleman” demolished Retro’s patio cushions to make a nest.
Debra Parker, of In Touch Massage Therapy, said the steady, cheerful presence of “Baby,” who was more like a dog than a squirrel, helped her get through a tough time. And Joy Hellman, of Joy of Art Studio, has memorialized “Beatrice” with a painting.
“It’s funny how everybody on the block had a claim to her,” Molly says. “She was their little business mascot just as much as she was ours.”
Outside of the office of McDevitt Town and Country Properties, at 125 E Pennsylvania Ave., a custom-built home that bears the name “Stubby” will house future generations. In lieu of flowers, donations of nuts will be accepted — and condolences can added here.