i still have another recipe to share, but i think i’m going to save it for another time. i had a little visitor to my yard and i feel the need to share the story. in doing so, i realize i will come across as one of those crazy ladies that has conversations with the critters in her yard. this should come as no surprise. remember chippie?
please note: all squirrely thoughts are from my imagination, extrapolated from my own limited experiences and knowledge of nature, and which are the culmination of the following sources, including but not limited to:
- real fact as learned from hours of watching mutual of omaha’s wild kingdom, marty stouffer’s wild america, and david suzuki’s the nature of things as a child. what? we didn’t have cable. i turned out “ok” ;-)
- fairy tales and imaginative books and stories where animals have been personified.
- things my children have taught me because they read encyclopedias and tell me things like “mommy, remember that mouse in the house last week? you know how you said you’re getting rid of it because they don’t belong in our house? yes, well, i looked it up in a field guide. and it said that it is a “house mouse.” so really, this house is its habitat, so it belongs here. just like us.” (really, what do you say to that? should i start charging the mouse rent and utilities?)
also, my apologies to mother nature for imposing my thoughts on unsuspecting animals. i am a silly human, along with the other roughly 6.8 billion of us, and as such, all squirrel thoughts will be denoted in a hazelnutty brown colour.
a couple of days ago, i looked out the window into the back yard and noticed a squirrel. not at all an uncommon occurrence here, especially at this time of year. but the problem was that this one wasn’t like the others i’ve seen scurrying about, hiding nuts and patting them down safely below the leaves. (and don’t you just love the way they dart a quick glance over their shoulder while doing this, as if to make sure no one sees what they are up to? like they’re the first squirrel to ever think of burying a nut. “i am a genius! *snickertitterheehee*”
but anyway, this squirrel didn’t look quite right. i was a little worried about it, the way it had its snout down into the top of the fence like that, with its front paw clenched into a fist under its chin and the tiny back foot dangling out the side…
i mean, what squirrel does that? i knew my daughter would love to see photos of this little guy, so i took my camera outside with me. but the truth is, i was worried that the squirrel may not be all well, so i kind of held my breath, stepped towards it slowly…they can be aggressive little things. while at university years ago, i remember walking by a garbage bin when suddenly, an angry city squirrel came running up the side of the bin chattering obscenities at me. i’m pretty sure it shook a threatening fist, too.
no movement. at this point i’m thinking this is the cutest little thing i’ve ever seen, and i’m also a little heartbroken because it must be sick or dying to allow me to come so close to it. i am only a few feet away from it when it begins to open its eyes, ever…so…slowly…
then it lifts its fuzzy little head and turns it slowly towards me…
and as if that was just too much effort, the heavy eyelids begin to close again…
and shut me out.
look at that sweet nose! here i am thinking this adorable little thing has chosen a sunny spot on my fence to breathe its last little breaths.
but then, i take one more step towards it. this last step must’ve encroached on its personal bubble of comfort, because it begins to sit up, does a slow-mo cat-like stretch of its limbs…
and suddenly, it darts right to attention! almost as if it remembers how it is supposed to behave around humans, with all its nervous energy and alert eyes and ears. then just like that, it scurries off the fence full speed and bounds away out of the yard.
lil guy was just having a nap!
i was so relieved that i was able to share a happy story with my daughter when she came home from school, along with the photos. but i do feel badly for interrupting a squirrely slumber. and for assuming the worst just because it was behaving differently than i expected. (that’s a lesson i could take through life with me. huh.)
i wonder what it was dreaming about…
p.s. this squirrel was no scaredy-squirrel, letting me come so close. but it did remind me of canadian children’s author and illustrator mélanie watt. my kids and i adore her books and drawings, so clever and funny. if you have a chance to read, borrow or buy any of the scaredy squirrel or chester series of books, do so. (chester is a megalomaniac cat, by the way. i mean, come on! you’ve got to read it.) they are favourites in this nutty home.
p.p.s. it’s almost friday! join me then for a new feature here. should be fun :-)© imadeitso, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to ana at imadeitso.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.