On May 31st, I had a little visitor.
Anyone who knows me personally is aware that I’m sort of the proverbial squirrel lady. I feed them, I talk to them, I adore them. Some people think that squirrels are nothing more than rats in cuter outfits, but I reject that assessment. They’re intelligent, adorable and each one has his or her own distinct personality. If there are no squirrels in heaven, then I don’t think I want to go.
For the last few years, Cutie Pie has been my only mainstay squirrel, and she’s currently spending the long, warm summer days stretched out like a little squirrel rug or curled up and fast asleep on the woodpile outside the kitchen window.
But there are always a couple of transient squirrels hanging around too. Last winter, that included a friendly but kinda grubby looking female with a tufted tail who I spied outside the door in May with this little runt in tow.
I sat on my side of the door snapping pics until I realized that something was the matter with the baby. His nose was bloody and he seemed a bit more off balance than a baby squirrel should have been.
My dad and I spent the next 45 minutes babysitting while momma enjoyed a rare young’un-free meal. I kept waiting for her to show signs of nervousness over my holding the baby, but she was happy to just take her peanuts and go off to the side to enjoy them. I guess she knew that we weren’t going to hurt her baby and felt that he was in safe hands. (Literally!)
I suspect he took a tumble out of the nest or a tree. Or perhaps ran head-long into something. I was quick to wash my hands when I was done, as he’d been sneezing blood on me, and I obviously couldn’t know for sure if he had fallen or if he was sick.
By the time I ran out of peanuts for mom, the baby was starting to get restless in my hands, so I said a little prayer for him, put him down, and within a few minutes, momma somehow gathered him up in her mouth and carted him off into the bush.
The world is a hard place for any baby animal in the wild, but even harder for an injured one. So you can imagine how delighted I was when about a month later, I nearly tripped over him while I was working outside.
God only knows what he was munching away on when I saw him, but it looked disgusting and very, very dead, whatever it was. I was just so happy to see that he had survived.
I haven’t seen him since, nor the mother (Cutie puts the run on everyone), but for a few moments, holding that warm, furry little bundle, literally in the palm of my hand, was a pure delight. How magnificent God’s creatures are, both big and small.