In the last few weeks our home has, for some reason, become a haven for a squirrel. We've lived here nearly 5 years and have never seen a squirrel before and then, all of a sudden, one gray squirrel appeared and then a larger red squirrel. The red one has since moved off but the smaller gray squirrel can still be seen hanging around our bird feeders or occasionally roosting high in the trees. He's a funny little thing and has reminded me that I don't think I've ever lived in a country house that had a squirrel neighbor. There's always been too many coyotes, foxes and feral cats around. We've only rarely seen rabbits for the same reason. I find myself becoming entranced with watching our squirrel and wanting to learn more. From the site Shining Star's Favorite Stories:
Gluskap also made the Indians, corn to feed them, and food for the other creatures. Gluskap wanted to make sure the other animals wouldn't harm his favorite creation, so he gathered together all the animals he had made and said, "Man!" The prudent ones ran and hid. But the squirrel, which at that time was very large, became very upset. It began to run around wildly, screeching loudly and knocking down large trees in its path. Obviously the squirrel would not be a friend to man. Gluskap patted the squirrel to calm it. With each stroke he made it smaller and smaller, until it became the size of a man's hand. Even today, whenever a squirrel sees man, it still runs up and down trees, scolding and chattering in a very quarrelsome way.
I just love the above story, it offers great insight into the jumpy behavior of squirrels. I remember watching squirrels outside my dorm window when I was in college. They can run so fast from branch to branch and it always amazed me that they never seemed to fall or lose their footing. I'm so glad we have a squirrel neighbor now, it lightens my heart in this time of the lengthening and darkening of the year.