Pierced ears
Thursday October 27th 2011, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Politics,Wildlife

The Washington Post has a squirrel columnist. It’s like finding another knitter in an unexpected place. And so now I know that the teenage squirrels are, at this time of year, out to find their own territories and challenge the old guard and that that’s why I’ve had so many new and smaller ones around lately. And these don’t like suet cake, thankyouverymuch. (Oh good!)

A few days ago I saw a big fat old gray one chase a young slender black one away and across the yard, up a tree six feet or so, and then the black one jumped to a nearby trunk and came down…

But the gray one, who’d raced notably slower than the other, was stopping to catch his breath.

The black one stopped and turned around and watched him. Meantime, another small black one took advantage of the whole scene by sneaking around both of them and going for the patio.

The next day: a smallish black one was nibbling peacefully away at what the birds toss down, minding its own business; had another started nibbling, he’d have shared, the young ones often do.

The big gray approached slowly, cautiously from behind, easing over to the side to stay out of the line of view, watching carefully, gets closer, closer, and then LEAPS onto the black one from behind to bite him! They instantly turned into a rolling, struggling, circular hamster ball with tail fluff coming from behind, totally out for blood, neither willing to give up. The gray’s got the weight but the black’s got the agility and speed.

Yin yang motif. How they roll in a circle like that just amazes me. But hey guys, I don’t want to see anyone hurt.

I opened the door and called out to them to stop, but I could have been a chickadee for all they cared. I threw a shoe halfway to them, careful not to have any chance of hitting them but trying to break it up. They could not have cared less, I was harmless and they knew it and the attacker and attacked weren’t and they knew it. It went on for what felt like a very long time.

The black one managed to grab the gray’s head face to face and grip it between his paws long enough to confirm for me where the tattered ears on the bigger ones come from.

They leaped in a blur up to a tall but empty flower pot, rolled in, continued with me trying to figure out by which tail tip showed when who was winning, and finally both leaped to the lip at once, apart. The gray stared away. The black one looked straight at me.

Having established himself, I think that’s the one that tried to take me on via the skylight later. I’ve wondered what my gray hair looks like to them.

They breathed hard a few moments, then reenacted the previous chase scene, except this time the young black squirrel was doing the chasing–and neither of them was moving very fast but rather clearly gingerly, and the gray was going to the right across the yard and away from the trees that offer a view of the patio. Vanquished. Away with the bully.

The gray came back today. Nothing around but the birds and me watching from inside, but it was clear he was scared. He approached slowly. Warily. He started to reach a paw to the patio–and pulled back, fast! Tried again. It took four times for him to work up the bravado to come onto the concrete and dare stand under that birdfeeder again.

Be careful whom you pick on.

(The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America includes, for good reason,  “…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”)

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Did you know there is a new app that you can download to your phone so that you blast it out to a predetermined list of contacts with one thumb push? Yeph, it lets your loved ones know that you’ve been arrested in the Occupy Wall Street movement. And, there is quite a demand for it.

Alison, are we reliving our American history?

Comment by afton 10.28.11 @ 5:09 am

We even had an “Occupy” here. Big Business and Politicians make strange bedfellows. Be careful on whom you pick.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 10.28.11 @ 7:26 am

Those who do not learn their history are doomed to repeat it!

I’m certainly having a deja vu moment here —

in May, 1970, I was a reporter for my college paper, covering a demonstration at the DU campus — my DH was in the National Guard during that time — and left it shortly after, feeling his sympathies were more with the protestors than his chain of command

I love the signs I see reminding the police that they too are part of the 99%

Comment by Bev 10.28.11 @ 8:03 am

Not only do you live in an aviary, but a bit of the wild as well.

I’m all for the protesters, but does anyone know what they want? I understand that they are protesting the concentration of wealth, but then what?

Comment by Don Meyer 10.28.11 @ 8:55 am

I thought about you when I saw not one but TWO squirrel … toys? stuffed animals? in the stands at the World Series last night.

Comment by Channon 10.28.11 @ 10:18 am

Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever witness such a power struggle in squirrels…I see them everyday IRL, of course.

Comment by Knitnana 10.28.11 @ 10:36 am

i miss watching squirrels. this house doesn’t have access to a window i can look out except to watch the garage. the next house we live in will have lotsa veiws! it’s on the ‘mustb have’ list we are compiling

Comment by Diana Troldahl 10.28.11 @ 4:13 pm

I bet the squirrels think as much about our drama and politics as we do theirs. Humbling thought, in a way.

Comment by Erica 10.28.11 @ 5:37 pm

Occupy the Patio

Comment by LauraN 10.29.11 @ 4:31 am

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