This afternoon, while LB and I were stuck in the house working on an assignment for her co-op class tomorrow, JW and the Hurricane were playing in the yard. LB was trying, unsuccessfully, to convince me that the meager 4 sentences she had already written were the best she could do for the story she was supposed to be writing when JW comes bursting into the room telling us that he saw a squirrel in our tree.
A little bit of explanation might be appropriate here. We live in one of those subdivisions where every tree was cut before the first foundation was poured. We have one real tree in our yard and a few shrubs. There are trees in the neighborhood next to ours, which joins yards to the house across the street, and there are woods fairly close, but birds and lizards are the only wildlife we've seen in our yard until now.
Okay, back to the story.
LB and I both follow JW outside to see this curious sight, but we weren't prepared for what we actually saw. Sitting on the tree trunk was a baby squirrel. The poor thing looked like it was about to fall and I was afraid that the kids were about to see a dead squirrel. As we watched, the little thing started making the squeaky barking noises that squirrels make and we could hear what sounded like another squirrel answering it.
At this point, I was wondering if there was any way we could help what I figured was a baby that had lost its mother somehow. That was until I saw the mama squirrel, and let me tell you, she was a mama on a mission. I am not a squirrel expert, so I am only assuming that this was a mama squirrel, and since it is my story, we are going to keep calling her mama. She came down the tree and quickly took the baby in her mouth and dashed across the street, through our neighbor's yard, up their fence and into the huge oak tree in the yard behind them.
Pretty cool, huh? But that isn't the end of our little squirrel story.
LB and I came back into the house to again work on the dreaded story, but we had only been at it a minute or two when JW comes back into the house to tell us that the mama squirrel is back in the yard across the street. So, again, we all head out into the yard to watch the show. This time, I realized what was happening. There is a cluster of dead leaves about 2/3 of the way up our tree that is apparently a nest. The mama squirrel disappeared into the leaves and came out carrying another baby. Again, she sprints down the tree and across the street and back up the oak tree. In all, we saw the mama squirrel make three trips back and forth across the road, though we only saw two babies, we are assuming that she was moving one the other time too.
I grew up living in the woods and the only interesting thing I ever saw concerning a squirrel was one falling out of a huge oak tree and hitting the ground, bouncing and landing back on the tree. Today's squirrel story is much better, don't you agree.
There are two really great outcomes of our adventure this afternoon. One, the kids (and their Mama) got to see nature at work. And two, LB got a new and more exciting topic for her story. Now, instead of meeting a duck, Paddle witnesses a squirrel mama moving her babies from one nest to another. Maybe I'll let her write her story as a guest post. She would probably like that.