After I read this book the first time, I donated it to a local nature center library. But a part of it stayed with me, and I found myself thinking about it and occasionally sharing it with others. So when I saw another copy of this volume in a used bookstore, I scooped it up for myself. I stood there and thumbed through the pages until I found it -- Chapter 10, "Flying Squirrels: Phantoms of the Night," the story of a young flying squirrel named Hepsey. John Terres had the opportunity to keep Hepsey almost like a pet for most of her life. While that kind of arrangement is generally not a good one for human or for wild creature (and would easily have been fodder for a 1960s Disney film), Terres learned quite a bit about squirrels that a more formal study might not have revealed. He wondered about her nut-hiding talent, for example. So he put 100 hickory nuts out on a table and left the house. When he came back, each nut was hidden somewhere -- in a shirt pocket, in a shoe, etc. He put another 100 nuts out that same night, and they disappeared as well. Based on Hepsey's behavior, Terres projected that a typical squirrel could probably store 10,000-12,000 nuts in one winter season. A fascinating tidbit of information like that sticks in your head. But the fun of it all is in his narration of the escapade and of other Hepsey happenings. That chapter is arresting enough to warrant reading aloud during a nature center program.
Terres' ruminations and nature observations are based on his rambles through the North Carolina landscape. "How Vultures Find Their Prey" is another interesting test (by sight or by smell?) that you will remember. But it's Hepsey who will capture your imagination.