The Lunch Break For A Tree Rodent


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My diet today is pretty set—pie for breakfast, cold turkey sandwich for lunch followed by pie for desert, maybe some warm leftovers for supper. Such is it always the day after turkey day.

I don’t mind the wake of Thanksgiving Day—in fact, I am such a lover of the after-Thanksgiving cold turkey sandwich that I consider this to be probably the best food day of the year.

Anyway, I was a good boy and went to the gym this morning-which is unarguably a good thing, considering my eating plans. Before getting dressed, I chanced to look outside and saw this tree rodent dining on my crab apples.

It was a cold day, as you can see from his or her fluffy fur and tail. I have long enjoyed watching squirrels. They were always “there” when I was growing up in Clinton Iowa, a fun animal to watch. Once, when digging for some random reason, I found a skull in my backyard, and my father identified it as a squirrel skull.

It made me really sad to think that a squirrel had died.

Now, as an adult gardener, I must admit squirrel death doesn’t have quite the same tragic feel to it. When I find one of those tree rats digging for my flower bulbs, I do have less than charitable thoughts. And when we lived in Missouri, there was a family of tree rodents living in our attic that we waged a mighty campaign to oust. I don’t know for sure we succeeded. They have teeth that are prodigious in their gnawing ability. And they attack bird feeders, too. So I have lots of reasons not to like squirrels.

Yet, they are far less destructive than the Satan of the garden that hops along with its darn cottony tail and long ears. I would rather have 20 squirrels than one rabbit.

So, I will suffer the squirrel. Let him or her eat. He or she needs the calories on this cold, windy day. So, I’ll fix me a turkey sandwich and watch out my window. I just saw a cardinal in a bare lilac bush, but was downloading squirrel images, so I didn’t try to shoot it. Feed on, tree rodent. I bet my lunch tastes better than yours.

Nov. 28 update:  On Sunday, I saw a neighborhood squirrel, possibly the same one, eating in a pear tree right next to my home office window.  Closer images are on this Facebook gallery.

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