I had a particularly interesting job to accomplish today. I had to clean up the remains of a squirrel’s nest which had fallen on to our tow path. Inhabited by a bachelor squirrel throughout the winter, its fragile form held up much better than I had predicted, in spite of its antiquity. It did, however, ultimately disintegrate, as witnessed by the pile of twigs and dead leaves, clumped upon the gravel of the path which encircles our lake.
I’m not surprised at his choice of “digs” for the winter. It had been my privilege to witness his attempt to take possession of a certain tree this last fall. Sitting at a window, which faces our front yard, I witnessed his battle for ownership of a particularly stately ash, which culminated in his ignominious ejection from said tree, ending in a resounding thump, as his body hit the ground, clearly heard in spite of the glass pane through which I peered. He fled with much chattering, which I can only guess, were I able to translate, offended any lady-like squirrels within hearing distance.
He is a handsome fellow. His tail is full and tipped with white, his ears are pert, his eyes large and bright. His pelt gleams with good health and is quite attractive. I can only imagine that this spring he will reach his goal and woo a lady love, the ultimate end, of course, being that of becoming a patriarch. I wonder if he’ll rebuild where his flimsy shanty sheltered him throughout this rather wicked winter, or will he choose more stable environs? I find it intriguing as to what Monsieur Squirrel will do now.
Excerpt from Swinging Bridge