There is a squirrel here who didn’t get the memo. About species boundaries, and about fear.

Frequently now, when he happens to be in the neighborhood, and I come out onto the deck, he grabs an acorn, skitters about 30 feet up a tree, ventures out onto a branch, takes a seat, and nibbles away, while watching me. From about eight feet away. He seems to think I’m interesting. And I think he’s interesting, too.

No one seems to have informed him, or perhaps he just didn’t listen, that humans happen to be renowned squirrel-slayers. And so there are probably smarter things to do than skinny up a tree to watch one, at close-range, while dining.

His attitude seems to be that I personally have never done him any harm. And so he doesn’t expect me to.

Same attitude he evinces towards the young’un cat.

The turkeys and the deer aren’t around much at the moment, and he’s given up on the Something in the ivy, so the young’un cat is these days concentrating on the squirrels. He pretends to track them, like he pretends to track most everything; the squirrels respond with that chattering and drumming thing they do, to warn would-be predators that they’re on to the sneaks, and so they should bugger right off.

Not this squirrel. He plays with the young’un cat. He’ll scrabble up a tree a ways, then wait for the young’un cat to come up the other side. As the young’un cat begins to claw his way around the tree, to get closer to the squirrel, the squirrel will sidle up and away a bit, then wait some more. Till the young’un cat gamely follows. This goes on until the young’un cat, not really equipped by nature to be a squirrel, gets tuckered out, and drops down out of the tree. Then the squirrel will grab an acorn and race out onto his branch to see what I might be up to.

I tend to worry about people like this. Because although neither I nor the young’un cat mean him any harm, people who look like us might.

He doesn’t seem to worry, though.

Probably there’s a lesson there.


5 Responses to “Trust”

  1. 1 Elva July 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I wish I had a deck to watch some interesting animals. Some people are so
    lucky to live in an area that is special. Keep me posted as to what your
    friendly squirrel and the cat are doing. Thanks for making my day better.

    • 2 bluenred July 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      I happen to know that you have numerous interesting animals around your house. Including some that are illegal. ; 0

  2. 3 possum July 18, 2011 at 4:05 am

    We, too, are blessed with a backyard filled with squirrels and birds. We even have a neighborhood hawk and a fox both of whom visit at times. The wonders of nature are amazing indeed.

    Squirrels are pretty personable little creatures. We humans could take lots of lessons from their simple life. Eat. Play. Eat. Play. Sleep. Maybe on occasion depending on the neighborhood run from a threat. What more does life really need?

  3. 4 Plink Piano July 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    We now have far fewer creatures around since our front yard tree was sadly removed. Used to have woodpeckers, mockingbirds, jays, and magpies in the tree, as well as doves and other little birds (sparrows?) that ate the seeds from the prickle balls on the lawn. At least the hummingbirds weren’t scared away…

    • 5 bluenred August 5, 2011 at 8:07 am

      Hummingbirds weren’t scared away because they don’t care much about trees. They’re for sugar.

      Most people don’t appreciate how many creatures can be dependent upon a single tree. When a crew of morons arrived to take down a 100-year-old orange tree outside my former office, I tried to explain to the smoothbrains that the jays spent all summer in there. They didn’t listen. They whacked the thing down. And the jays were glum.

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When I Worked

July 2011
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