Last evening as our family was finishing up supper (dinner to many of you), my three year-old suddenly started bouncing and squealing out a joyous noise. “Look! A quirl, a quirl! Look, Mom! Look, Dad! I want to tet it! Look, Mom!”
I was frankly lost with no idea what she was trying to say. Luckily, her interpreter was on hand (her mother) and she was able to translate the gibberish into “Look! A squirrel! Two of them! Could I go out and pet them?” There is nothing like the excitement and enthusiasm of a three-year-old to spark new wonder into the ordinary event of a squirrel sighting!
Her and I soon headed out to watch them, happily shushing each other and telling each other to be quiet as we snuck out the door and sat down on the front step to watch the wonder of the squirrels playing in the trees. She would exclaim again and again as it would appear and disappear among the branches, “See it, daddy? See it?” she would ask.
Before long, here came one of our kittens, curious to see what we were doing just sitting on the front porch. He soon was bored and headed past us to explore some bushes just beyond where we were sitting. Suddenly, he came blasting past us at full speed and up in the trees we heard a swooshing and crashing of leaves.
We looked up to see one of the giant owls that like to sit up there come swooping down and across the yard. Behind it, down the tree trunk, shot the squirrel we were watching. Then, in another moment, all was quiet again and the owl was gone.
I’m still not sure what it’s problem was. Maybe it anticipated the kitty as a nice snack or was just disturbed by the squirrel and ready to head off to a squirrel free zone. Who knows, but it was an exciting few seconds! Soon, the kitty was back for a few more pets and then off again to explore some more, apparently sensing the danger was gone for the moment.
We watched until it was dusk, when we couldn’t see the squirrel moving about any more. Deciding it must have went to bed, we headed back into the light and cozy house, a little calmer and a little more at peace with life, and a memory of watching squirrels that I won’t soon forget, thanks to my three-year-old who has probably already forgotten it.
I hope you and your family has been enjoying this truly spectacular fall weather we have been having. Enjoy it while it is here as the darkness and chill of winter will soon be upon us.
You will never look at squirrels the same way again!
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