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Friday, 23 March 2012

Precious Memories of Pet - My Pet Squirrel

By Mary B Summerlin who keeps a photostream at Flickr

Pet adopted me, it was not me adopting him.

During warm days, I leave the sliding glass doors open. I know, I know – bugs and stuff get in. It’s okay – I’ll pay that price for the fresh air.

One day Pet decided to come into the kitchen. I was horrified – oh, he would get scared, feel trapped, want to get out and forget how to get out. So, in the process of looking for a way out, he would destroy and in general create havoc.

But there was something about him that made me doubt my idea of panic. I watched from afar. He went to the bottom shelf of a bookcase and began searching for the bag of roasted peanuts I had bought from South Carolina on my return trip home. I had forgotten about them. What a good nose he has.

Carefully I went over, took out a handful of peanuts, put them on the floor and watched him eat them. The cats just watched. Pet was just alert and watched them. When Pet finished eating, he investigated the rooms a little bit and then left by the same door which he entered.

Oh, that was fun and exciting. I guess it’ll be the only time he’ll do such a thing. And I let it go.

A few days later, he once again appeared in the kitchen. Where are the peanuts? Do I have to come get them?

I put a couple of handfuls in a tray, put it down in the living room and watched. The cats watched too. Nobody got excited. Pet ate, the cats watched.

Some days, the squirrel or cats would feel frisky and chase each other around the chair a time or two and then Pet would go back to eating and the cats would go back to napping.

He visited all summer. Sometimes, I’d feed him sunflower seeds on the deck railing. He loved those. I decided to hold them in my hand and see if he would take them. I know, I know. I was worried about him biting me and have rabies or some other terrible disease but I could not resist so I took the risk.

He came up, put his little paws on my fingers and took the seed. He loved it. He stayed and ate until he was filled. I was so excited. There is something so special about a connection with a wild animal. It’s called trust.

When my granddaughters were visiting, they wanted to feed him, so we tried. They would stand still, being very quiet and Pet would slowly approach and just about the time he was ready to eat – they became impatient, squealed, yelled and danced away.

Of course, Pet scampered in the other direction. He waited until I was there alone. Then he would approach again.

One day, after about a year, he showed up, limping. He ate from my hand and I never saw him again.

That special time – the time a squirrel let me be his friend, is filed away under “Precious Memories.”

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. PLEASE read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post



What a nice story of trust between you,your cats and your "Pet".

My Mom used to have a squirrel
who came to her windowsill and took sunflower seeds and pieces of nuts from her.

To be truthful with you, I was afraid of him and he didn't like me either so all friendship was between him and my Mom.

Thanks for bringing back that wonderful memory of Mom and her squirrel.

Oops! Dropped my keyboard and it left those funny little marks in the previous post. Mary, it's such a sweet story. We used to feed raccoons by hand back in those days when we didn't worry about rabies, and had to push them back to keep them from coming right on in the house. Ah, the days of innocence and lack of fear. We also could let our kids roam the woods without fear.

Even though everyone says squirrels are just rats, I still loved your story about companionship between you and your wild animal.Taakes trust which you seem to have plenty of.

I really enjoyed your story.

I also have memories of my mother and her friend Lil sitting and talking in our backyard with always a few peanuts in their pockets should the squirrel they named “Charley” stop by.

He rarely disappointed them.

I'm delighted and entranced by any contact with these small wild creatures (not so much with bears). The trust it takes for a small animal to approach a giant and often *very* unfriendly species charms most of us I think. Thanks for sharing a lovely story.

We have a bumper crop of squirrels this year, black ones, gray ones and red ones. They love our bird feeders and are fun to watch. So sorry your pet didn't come back. What a lovely story.

This is a wonderful story. I love nature. I watch the squirrels, deer and rabbits on my night job which I do outside. Please keep sharing with us.

How wonderful that the little creatures in nature who delight us with their lives can get just a little intimate. They have no idea how much it helps us have a little thrill in a day. Great story. Thanks for sharing!

Mary, you and your animal menagerie. I love reading about them. Pet is one of my favorite stories.

Such a beautful experience you have had, thank you Mary.Here in Oz we revere the Kangaroo, to some they are thought to be vermin,to some the danger of road kill a lasting memory. I saw a woman recently who wore a T shirt 'loudly saying' on the front 'No Kangaroos for Australia'. How peculiar I thought then I looked at the woman herself,. She was an attractive 40-50 year old but with a lopsided face. Oh dear a stroke at such a young age I thought. But then I took in her other afflictions, her difficulty in walking the scarring on her face,her inability to speak coherently. It suddenly dawned, she was a victim of road kill, probaly had slammed into a big buck Kangaroo in her car and lived with the daily reminder.Nature in it's natural habitat is so wonderful & I loved that Mary was able to accept her delightful visitor on her own terms.

Thank you for your comments and stories. I loved them all.

Any wild animal reminds me that there are creatures who manage without the constricting conscious dependence humans live with. I always feel joy and awe when I notice a bird or squirrel, or even an urban rat, let alone when I see a flock of geese flying, a fox crossing a road, or a bobcat taking it easy in the open!

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