Sunday, February 06, 2011

Something a little squirrely...

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy
is that one comes from a strong will,
and the other from a strong won't.
Henry Ward Beecher

Sam, our resident squirrel has struck again.  Joe decided this year to feed the birds outside my picture window.  He worked hard on finding delicate feeders for tiny birds, with the hopes that I could spend many long winter hours, camera in hand, capturing photos of bright colored birds as they dined on his song bird from the wandering cats and determined squirrels.  He once again has met  his match in Sam.  He hung the feeders on lightweight wire about a week ago, with the help of our son, Scott.  He'd calculated the distance from each end of the structure, the distance from the ground...and even the weight of Sam the squirrel.  He was certain he'd outwitted our bushy little friend.   I watched each day, camera ready...for the red headed finches and cardinals and doves to discover this haven he'd created...and finally they did.  Hesitant...tentative...but hungry on a snowy day,  they ventured closer and closer until they did land...they did eat, and lots of it.  I snapped away, anxious to share the sights and sounds of my winter friends.  I stopped to brew a fresh pot of coffee....daydreaming of  the colors my new feeders would draw..and returned to the sight of Sam....our own little rat in a fancy fur coat...creeping along the wooden supports that held my winter bird paradise.  Over the course of the next hour, I watched him...and snapped photo after photo...and laughed.  He was determined.  He was persistent.  He bordered on obstinate.  He scurried from end to end.  He ran up and down the vertical supports.  He stretched his tiny legs as far as they could reach until he shimmied down the thin wire and landed on the smooth plastic top.  He peered down the sides.  He hung upside down studying the situation.  He reached one little paw down to each perch.  He fell off three times...landing in a soft, snow covered lump beneath it.  And got up and tried again.  And one short hour later , he succeeded.    He had one little paw stretched in each direction, sharp little nails dug in deep to hold him tight...and he ate.  And ate.  And ate.  And I laughed.  And  laughed. And laughed.  I called Joe at work, laughing so hard I could hardly get the story out.  And he swore!    Asked  me to go to the garage and get the BB gun and scare him away.   Asked me to let our little dog out to chase him away.  Then stopped.... and listened to himself...and started laughing too!    We decided that any squirrel that could put that much effort  into life deserved the lunch he was getting to eat...and more!    Even Sam.  Our persistent, obstinate little  lamb in squirrels clothing...always willing to teach us another lesson about life...and how to go about living it!  I'm beginning to think Sam may be a lot smarter than we've given him credit for!

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