Louisiana Squirrel


This hand-colored drawing of 1727 depicts what is said to be a flying squirrel, which is perched on a branch eating a nut. The squirrel was brought to Paris from New Orleans by a Capuchin priest who, after three days, gave it to the queen. According to the note written in pencil at the top of the illustration, the small animal aroused much curiosity and amusement at the French court, where “its favorite thing was to jump onto the ladies’ necks and hide.” The note explains: “He would fly from one end of the room to the other, and could not fly further than that. His tail was the most peculiar. I drew this picture of him in 1727.”

Last updated: November 4, 2015