For the second time this term, I have found myself wasting most of the morning watching a squirrel. I like squirrels, and enjoy watching them nibbling on things, running up and down trees, and generally enjoying being outside. But this one is a silly squirrel...
She came into the courtyard where I live, pausing once in a while to look around, checking for predators. When she stopped, her tail took a moment to catch up, finally ending up curling back on itself so it stood almost upright. She knew her target. She moved round the base of the tree, checking how it looked from all angles. She wouldn't want to make a mistake and end up in a bad situation. But she has been here before, and knows this tree is worth the dangers that come with it. This tree has seeds. What the squirrel did not realise is that the seeds are actually intended for birds, and not for little squirrels like her. Nevertheless, she eventually took the bold move of going onto the tree. The clouds looked down on her from the sky, they probably realised that the seeds are not for her! But they didn't say anything, they just grew and darkened, preparing themselves for the shower that came later.
With the seeds in sight, she dashed up the trunk, and climbed onto the bird feeder. She lost her inhibitions, but I had to tell her that she is not allowed seeds. So I dashed downstairs, and out across the grass towards the tree. She was occupied with her seeds so she didn't realise until I got right up to her. But just as I reached the tree, she heard me suddenly, as if woken from a dream, and dashed up the tree.
Determined to make my point, I dashed after her. I don't often climb trees, but it's fun, so I moved as quickly from branch to branch, getting as high as I dared until the branches get so thin that they bent perilously as I put my weight onto them. I looked up. The squirrel was perched on a tiny twig at the top of the tree, being buffered from side to side by the wind. There's always a wind up high, but particularly today, it was very gusty. But she had beaten me. I tried to stare her out for a while, but she won that too and I went inside.
Thinking I had gone completely, she edged (a little more cautiously than before) to the seeds and started eating again.
The process repeated itself again before she realised the point I was making and ran away. In the meantime, there are very few seeds left for the birds, but there aren't many birds either, so it'll probably be fine.
Jo has watched me with the squirrel on both occasions, and finds it very funny. She knows a lot about animals and thinks the squirrel is pregnant, so I trust her. She is going out with Chris, who is a Southampton fan. Southampton were unlucky not to get promoted to the Premiership this year, and will no doubt succeed next year (or so Chris hopes). Chris likes economics, sport and musicals. Jo likes musicals too, but prefers physics to economics. She lives near me, even when we go home from Uni, since we are from the same area. I thought I should introduce you to these people, because they are pretty amazing, and I will probably mention them again in future posts...