One afternoon, as the sun shines down on New York City, Tina the eastern gray squirrel takes a nap in the comfiest place in the city: the Statue of Liberty’s crown! Tina is not just sleeping, but also deep in her dreams. She dreams of a giant pile of acorns. The dream is so realistic that while Tina dreams of diving into the pile of acorns, she actually dives off the crown! Without even waking up, Tina lands in a cargo box filled with packing peanuts. As soon as she lands, someone closes the lid of the box and pushes it into a ship back to France.
Suddenly Tina wakes up and everything is dark. She hears voices of people talking in a language she doesn’t know. To get their attention, Tina jumps and bangs on the walls of the cargo box. Finally, a kind man notices the loud noises from the box and opens the lid just as Tina springs out and lands on the man’s hat! The men around the squirrel all laugh and point as Tina strikes a pose. All the humans love Tina. Every day they feed her their baguettes and teach her their language which they call French. As the days go by, Tina finds the rocking of the ship super relaxing and takes even more naps until the ship finally docks in France.
Since Tina knows very little about this country, she decides to follow her favorite human on the ship. His name is Pierre and he is going on a train back to his home. He is very excited to show his son his new friend. As they get on the train, so do hundreds of other people. It is so crowded! Suddenly Tina cannot find Pierre anymore, as Tina spends hours scurrying around all the trains, she realizes that Pierre has already gotten off! Sad from this realization, Tina gets off at the next stop.
When Tina gets off, she realizes that people are speaking English again, but it sounds super funny. Tired from the travel, Tina looks for a place to take a nap in. She finds another tall building like the Statue of Liberty and climbs to the very top of it. As she drifts into slumber, a loud “DONGGG” from right above her head wakes her up. She is in a clock tower! Later as Tina explores the city, she learns the tower is called Big Ben and it rings every hour. From that day on, all of Tina’s naps were no longer than one hour and she never overslept again.
Story and Illustration by
Yiwei Jason Wang from Pittsburgh, PA