The other day, I opened the screen door and placed my foot on the first granite step when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned to the right and looked down and there, not five feet from me, was a baby squirrel.
My first thought was, “Oh no! He’s so little. Maybe he fell from his nest!”
I knew enough not to do anything about that, at least immediately. So I quietly closed the door and sat on the stoop… and watched.
The little guy was making his way along the granite foundation of the screen porch… stopping… sniffing… using his too-big front paws to test out the climbability of a fairly smooth wall. Finally, he stopped.
And looked right at me.
I wasn’t sure what to do – but, figuring his mom taught him I was safe and reliable – I called him.
“Psss psss psss… it’s okay little man. C’mon…” is pretty much what I said.
And he actually came!
He sort of hop-walked over and looked up.
So I got up slowly and went inside and shut the door quietly and got some of my best fruit and nut bird food and came back to the door.
And he was still there!
So I went out… and he stayed right there… and I held out a half a peanut… and he took it!
And JoHn walked out onto the porch a few minutes later and I motioned for him to be quiet, so he tip-toed toward me and looked out and saw the little man eating the peanut beside me and I shrugged and patted his little head.
The squirrel’s little head, not JoHn’s.
And a couple of minutes later, the baby squirrel hopped away and into the black-eyed Susan patch further on down the garden.
I came in right away and washed my hands and sent a message out to see if my friend Nancy had any ideas. Nancy had raised some abandoned baby squirrels a few years ago and successfully released them into the wild so I was thinking she would have some advice. I’d googled ‘baby squirrels’, too, so could tell Nancy that my little man was probably between ten and twelve weeks old.
Nancy said that was young, but that he would probably be okay with food and water left out for him.
Feeling buoyed about his chances, I googled more and learned that baby squirrels can eat some nuts and certainly love bird food but that they also need fruits and veggies like kale (which falls somewhere between lima beans and kryptonite on the Lisa Dingle ‘foods-I-don’t-like’ scale). So, instead, I diced up some carrots and a few little tomatoes (they were all I had!) and put them out where he had taken the peanut from my hand.
And I didn’t see him for the rest of that night, and not even for the entire next day.
We have a family of hawks a couple of houses down so I was kind of worried, and then sad.
But today I was sitting on my screen porch and guess what?!
There was the little cutie taking a drink from the water I put out for him (which is right next to the nuts and fruit and seeds I put down for him (though the chipmunks, mourning doves, blue jays, all other squirrels, and lots of other neighborhood hoi polloi also claim ownership).
I grabbed my camera, with my brand new telephoto lens that JoHn got me as a surprise the other day, hoping – once again – to graduate from ‘Nearly Perfect Husband’ to ‘Perfect Husband’ status.
Silly man, will he never learn.
Anyway, I grabbed my camera and new big lens and stepped quietly outside and sat down on the top step and looked through the lens just as the little man turned around and lifted up his tail.
It wasn’t his tail.
He was a she!
I was just coming to grips with this revelation when…
Her brotherS showed up!
And suddenly there were three baby squirrels right outside my door…
Oh. Well, I know they were her brothers because they did very brotherly things.
So I named them Tic, Tac, and Janet.
What do I mean by ‘brotherly things’?
Well, you know. Like, Janet would be all serious finding water and food for the three of them and her brothers would… Hmmm. Maybe if I just show you.
Here are two squirrel brothers, sharing a friendly snack…
All seems to be going well, and then one small slap…
And it’s all over.
There you go. Brothers, right? So let’s proceed…
Still not convinced?
More photographic proof:
I call this one ‘Incoming’…
And this one I call, ‘Could ya just… move… a little… so I can get through?’
This one is entitled, ‘N’yuck n’yuck n’yuck’…
Well, I finally I’d had enough of Tic’s and Tac’s shenanigans… Okay. Except for this one:
But after that, I really wanted a family photo for the blog.
Of course, the boys wouldn’t sit still…
So I asked Janet if she could get them under control.
And – although she is braver than her brothers – she is also quite a bit smaller, so seemed surprised I would ask…
But she finally did, and you can that Tac is none too impressed with my request after Janet whispered it into his ear (Tic looks nervous in the background, doesn’t he?)
So, sadly, no sweet family portrait for us.
I thanked Janet for her attempt and promised I’d end my post with a lovely photo of her. The brave little girl who came in search of food…
And then shared it with her stupid brothers.
Thanks for readin’.
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