BY BRETT RAWSON
On January 20th, a mailman tried to deliver a piece of mail to an ordinary home. It was the XFINITY envelope you see above. Urgent, we can only imagine. But when the mailman reached the property, he approached a problem: the house was guarded by squirrels. How many, we'll never know, but there were enough. That much is clear. The mailman left the premises promptly, likely by sprint, and much later, he penned the reason for, and date of, undelivery: Squirrels, 1/20. Days later, the mailman returned, the squirrels were gone, and the bill was delivered.
The story could end there, but thankfully, it doesn't. The envelope was addressed to Glenn Tachiyama, an (ultra marathon) trail runner and (adventure) photographer. Glenn's images combine these passions with symmetry, capturing bodies in motion. But he also takes tons of pictures of squirrels.
It's a hobby of his: snapping photos of these shadow-seeking, nut-lovers. We've liked every single one we've seen on Instagram: those little concrete-colored cuties frolicking through meadows, the quasi-confused fuzzy rats nibbling on round shards of asphalt, and the small puff-balls plumping up before winter. You could be thinking that all of this was just some freak accident: that a mailman who just happened to be afraid of small furry things arrived to a residence with more than a normal amount of them. But plot-twist: January 21st just so happened to be Squirrel Appreciation Day. So now, like The Usual Suspects, your mind is going back through the clues.
It was all there: the day the mail was delivered, hundreds of squirrels darting around the lawn, unable to contain their appreciation for each other, gathered together for the annual celebration around none other than the home of Glenn Tachiyama, famous photographer and lover, or should we say leader, of squirrels. Is it that far-fetched to wonder whether the squirrels were just prepping for the photo-shoot of their lifetime?
Obviously, we here at Handwritten lost our marbles. We reached out to Glenn. "Glenn, that squirrel picture is hilarious," we wrote. "What if," we said cutting to the chase, "you sent us 4 - 5 of your fave squirrel images, and we put that in the context of this story?" Glenn replied. "As long as I don't have to write much," he wrote. "Not at all," we responded, "it'll be a visual story."
And so, with permission to use Glenn's images, but without his permission to tell a completely fictional tale, we present to you, on this pseudo-gloomy Monday, the untrue story of the mailman and the squirrel, handwritten by us, of course.
THE HANGRY SQUIRREL
handwritten by Handwritten
illustrations by Glenn Tachiyama