Thursday, July 8, 2010

Journaling with My Unattractive Friends

Nuts. It's raining nuts. Not really. The squirrels are eating black walnuts in the tree overhead and I'm trying to journal by my backyard waterfall. It's rather distracting trying to write when the sky is falling.

These black walnut trees must be so much fun if you're a squirrel. A great, green playground with built in snacks. Talking to your friends in the neighboring trees via tail signals. A sort of silent squirrel walkie talkie system. Secret spy squirrelies on a mission to infiltrate the deck box containing birdseed. They leave a calling card of nut shrapnel on my chair saying, "Yes! We have been in your most precious space, your journaling chair!  And someday soon your birdseed will be ours! Ha ha ha!".  

I do think that an evil squirrely laugh would sound a lot like someone who has inhaled helium from a balloon.

A few days ago I caught a prisoner. I didn't mean too, as I'm sure he didn't mean to get caught. A "squirrel proof feeder" I have that sort of has a cage around it (small birds can get in but squirrels are too large) was broken into by a marauder. I came outside and found that this squirrel had somehow wormed his way into the supposably impenetrable fortress...I'm guessing through the top?...which had then shut tightly behind him leaving him "caged" in the feeder. I wonder how long he happily pigged out on seeds, laughing at his own cleverness, before he had to send out the first tail signal, "Houston, we have a problem". 

When I discovered the thief, he was frantically chewing the wire trying to free himself. I can't imagine how hard and fast his little heart was beating as I rolled the feeder around on the ground in an attempt to solve my new "release the squirrel" puzzle. Warning: This puzzle bites. Once I popped the end off, we both stared at each other for about 5 seconds. Now, as squirrels go this little guy was not what I would call attractive. Not to brag, but we have some pretty darn good looking squirrels in our yard. Soft gray coats, bright white bellies, full fluffy tails....these are the traits of a beautiful squirrel. This little pirate was dirty brown in color, thin tail, had an unusually small head.....perhaps containing the kind of small brain that would lead to getting caught in a squirrel proof bird feeder. Finally, realizing he was free, he shot up a tree and out of sight.

So, now I recognize this guy when he comes around. Does he appreciate that I freed him from his embarrassing (if not deadly) predicament? I really do think so. When I'm outside he comes closer to me than the other, more beautiful squirrels. He's not afraid to eat the pile of sunflower seeds I put three feet from my chair. Perhaps he considers me trustworthy, a friend, dare I say, a hero to squirrels....or maybe it's just that little tiny brain that got him into trouble in the first place. It really doesn't matter, because when I'm journaling by the waterfall and drinking the coffee made for me by my handsome prince, all the woodland creatures are my friends. Especially the ugly ones.       

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