A Bit of a Chat with a Squirrel at my Bird Feeder

Me: Oh, it’s you again.

Squirrel: Oh, hey, hi! If it isn’t Lady Bountiful! Thanks for putting out this amaaazing spread! I LOVE what you’re doing here! (Nom nom nom-like scarfing noises)

Me: Yeah. Really, um, about that. The spread. I actually….hmm, how do I put this….the spread, It’s really meant for…you know…the birds. Like the cardinal, the goldfinches…

Squirrel: THOSE deadbeats??? The ones who can’t bother to fly over here – what is it – too far from the nest? Ohhhh, my arms – I mean my wings – my little helpless wings are getting toooo tired to make it allll the way over to this feeding station. I think I’ll just hang out in this shrub a little longer…those guys???

Me: Yeah, those guys. All the birds. I’ve been trying to get them over here. I got the suet feeder. I got the special seed…

Squirrel: Oh, yeah, that crap. NOBODY likes that stuff, not even those deadbeat birds. You might as well hang up a sign that says: WILDLIFE: fly on by! THIS IS NOT THE KIND OF SEED YOU LIKE, NO MATTER WHAT IT SAYS ON THE PACKAGE!

Me: Well, it seemed like the cardinal was coming by. You know, after you finished all the sunflower seeds, they came by for those white seed thingies. You know who I mean right? The bright red guy? The really pretty one. I LOVE that guy! He comes over once in a while, and brings his wife. So couldn’t you um…kind of….leave most of this food for them? They were the ones I actually invited – um to the platform feeder. Where you currently are. If you don’t mind me saying.

Squirrel: Well, Ms. Bountiful, I got my invitation too. And I take the trouble to get here early, and every day. And, you know I always bring the guys too.

Me: Yeah, you’ve got rather a lot of guys. There’s usually 4 or 5 of you running around out here…um…kind of….don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to supply you with food too, but you’re kind of….trashing the place?

Squirrel: Hey, Ms. Bount, that’s not MY guys, must be some other squirrels. A couple of trees over. Can’t speak for them.

Me: Well, I do always put some stuff out for you. In the special Squirrel Feeder, remember?

Squirrel: Yeah, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that special Squirrel Feeder. We appreciate the thought, Ms. Bount, we really do. You are TOO generous, you know, God love you, but I gotta tell you, Mike still has head wounds from that hinged lid falling on top of him. He’s not too happy about it. Plus he still didn’t manage to get the peanut out of there! Do you think you could adjust the hydraulics or something?

Me: Well, maybe Mike needs to build up his arms, because I haven’t seen any one else have any trouble with it. Tell him I’m sorry about his head, and I’ll look into it. Maybe I’ll put a notice that says: “lift carefully, then dive in”.

Squirrel: It could help. Maybe not. There’s definitely a technique you gotta perfect for that thing. I’ve got it down, but here’s the thing you gotta know about us squirrels, we believe in doing something the most efficient way. You got seed here all spread out on a buffet, we’re gonna go for that, we’re not gonna mess around with that other contraption you got there where muscle power is involved. Get it?

Me: Well, I’ve seen some interesting gyrations with some of your gang. The hanging upside down technique for my cylinder feeders. Pretty interesting.

Squirrel: Yeah, the hotshots get into that stuff. Can be a little dangerous. Well, Bount, it’s been nice chatting to you, but if you don’t mind, I’ve got a lot of munching to do. You might want to put some more peanuts on the list, I don’t want to seem demanding, but, I’ve got a little lady back at the tree who could use a few. Time of year and all.

Me: I’ve been meaning to ask you. Don’t you spend pretty much all fall, gathering nuts and acorns, just for that purpose, to get you through the winter and all?

Squirrel: Do we? That’s ALL we frickin’ do!! But can we remember where we put the frickin’ things? I don’t know how many times where I’m walking under a tree, and I’m forgetting why I even came there! “Oh, yeah”, I go: “nuts!” Then for the life of me, I can’t remember where I put them. That’s why people like you are so great. Really, you do a real service to us squirrels out here.

Me: Well, as I said before, it’s really mostly for the birds.

Squirrel: Those fly by nights. who needs em? Squirrels – we’re the dependable ones. You gotta admit, we show up every day. We frolic, we scamper, we eat with TWO hands, Come on, you gotta admit THAT’S ADORABLE!!! We’ve got the fluffy tails. Damn cute! Come on, you know you love us!

Me: Well, I do appear to be stuck with you. I mean, yeah, you have your own….personal charm I guess.

Squirrel: That’s more like it.

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