Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The House Guest That Wouldn't Leave

As I sat writing to my grand daughter Akina, I saw a squirrel busily hiding a walnut in the snow outside the window. I told her I wondered if he would find it later! This also reminds me of a story, of the baby squirrel Kristie and I found. We actually found two. One day she and I were standing outside talking to a neighbor. I saw two baby squirrels come down the tree next to where we were. Out of instinct (or stupidity)I held my hand out, and one ran down my arm and perched on my head! None of us could believe it! Then he came down off my head and held onto my clothes. We noticed there was no mama "chattering" at us, and wondered if she had been killed.

I put the little fellow back on the tree, but he seemed to want to stay with us. My daughter ran in, got some water and food for them. They seemed very hungry. The friendly guy stayed with us. The neighbor had ten dogs, that roamed the back yard next to us. The squirrels stayed in the tree on our property line, and we were afraid the dogs would eat the babies. The other baby would never get near us....but we continued feeding them....never seeing a mama. Then one little guy disappeared. We feared the worst. Kristie got the friendly baby, and put him in the garage in a large dog cage.

We fed him cereal, corn, and anything else we thought he would like. We put newspapers and card board boxes in his cage, which he completely shredded and made himself quite a nest. My husband was fit to be tied about the whole adventure! "You can't keep a wild animal!", he said. The neighbor with all the dogs, intimated that she could turn us into some animal rights place if we didn't stop taking care of the squirrel. Hmmm....

Believe it or not, Kristie and I could sit out in the garage for hours watching that cute little baby! Kim was married but came over and sat with us and watched him too! My girls and I can be easily entertained! And let me tell you, he was the best fed squirrel in Illinois! He had every toy imaginable! During this entire time, my husband had also become attached to him. He was the one who spoiled him the most, bringing him nuts and boxes of cereal! The squirrel would climb all over us, and was sooo gentle. He would run to each of us, and climb right up our legs to our shoulder.

The time came, to set him free. He was getting bigger now, and we made sure he knew what kind of food to look for. He was good at making nests and hiding food, it was time. So we took him outside, and released him. Kristie kept corn and nuts for him in a feeder outside. A few weeks later, Steve came in the house and said, "Guess what? That squirrel is still in the garage!" I went out there and sure enough, there he was perched on a high shelf where we kept our Christmas Decorations. Steve pulled out the ladder and climbed up to the shelf, and all the nuts and corn Kristie had been feeding him, were now nestled among last years decorations! Not only that, he had shredded boxes and had the hugest nest I had ever seen! We couldn't find how he got in. So my husband took him out again, and cleaned up the shelf. He did this about 4 more times! We never could find how he was coming in.

Finally my husband let him stay AFTER THE FIFTH time. He began feeding him again in the garage. This time I was the one who said, "you have to stop feeding him in the garage!" One day my husband called to tell me, "our visitor is gone!" I asked what happened. He said, "I climbed up the ladder, to give him some nuts, and he thought I was trying to take his food instead....and he bit me!!!!" Steve almost fell off the ladder. I guess the squirrel held onto my husband as he ran around the garage! Steve ran outside, squirrel still attached, trying to get it off his arm. Finally the squirrel went flying. The squirrel ran up a tree, and we never saw him again.

My husband wouldn't go to the doctor for the wound, of course. I wanted to get the squirrel and have it checked for rabies...but it never showed up again. Of course, we learned one thing....some guests do bite:)


Dana Schmoyer said...

That is such a great story! I would've been in the garage with the squirrel every day if we had one. How fun! (Except for the biting part.)

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