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Squirrel OUT!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

 The Easter morning squirrel saga continues with more ridiculousness. Ma keeps returning to the box, trying to coax Baby out.

 I'm not ignoring you, Ma. I'm just choosing not to come with you this morning. I have things to do.


 Neither am I! If she doesn't have to I don't have to!

 I would very much like a quick nurse. Why haven't you nursed us this morning? That's mean.

 I haven't nursed you because this morning you are not eating. You are learning how to jump down from the box. You cling with your hinders. And then you just jump down to this branch. Piece of cake.

 That is the most terrifying thing I have ever seen anyone do. Right now I am sorry I was born a squirrel. I should have been born a reptile. Someone who doesn't have to risk life and limb. Someone whose mother isn't CRAZY.

 You're kidding, right? About the jumping?

 I am not kidding. This is how squirrels make a living. By jumping, scrabbling, clinging, wild leaping. You're going to LOVE it.

 To a branch that's one inch wide? On their first ever jump in their whole LIFE?? Down THERE??

 Get over it, Liam. Either you leap or I'm going to pull you out of that box and drag you by one leg.

  Ma!! Say it ain't so! I want to stay in this box. It's cold and gray outside. I hate outside. In here it's soft and warm and cuddly. I need to work on my art. I have homework.

  All right, Mister. I'm done. I'm coming for you.

                                                                     Out you come!

 No turning back this time. You're coming with me.

  Just a little groin grab, not biting down, gentle but firm. Stop ow-ing. This is how we do it.

  Let go your dang hind foot! Mmmmmff...Stop hanging on! You are GOING WITH ME, Mister!

 All right, then, if you're going to hang on, we bite down a little harder. Have it your way. Let go and I'll let up. OW OW OW OW OW!! Geesh, Ma!

 That's it! Down we go!

 Thisisnothappeningthisisnothappening  I'mkeepingmyeyesshut   hoooommmggggg nooooo

In the end, Ma Squirrel carried the babies all the way down the willow trunk and into the woods. I'm not sure how many she had; I couldn't stay at it the whole two hours. I felt really lucky to get a whole sequence of one baby's forced removal. When she had this one moved to her satisfaction, she came back and took five on the roof of the  box. It was 11:34 AM. She had started working with the kids at 9:23 AM, and she had at least one more to go. To my mind, she struck a good balance between coaxing and coercion--always a mother's job. Sometimes coaxing works, and sometimes you have to bite down a little harder.

I put some extra peanuts out on the railing and saw her come collect them a few minutes later.

 Good job, Ma Squirrel! And good luck with whoever else is still to be moved. I hope your second home is warm and dry!


I'm laughing that you named the recalcitrant baby squirrel 'Liam'.

You’re not really wishing for an empty nest....

Now I can just imagine how proud that mama is to see her offspring racing up and down trees, jumping from branch to branch shouting, Look at me Ma! Some young'uns are naturally ready to leave the nest and others need a push, or a nip and drag in this case! Thank you for taking us on the squirrel adventure!

Aw, I loved this so much! Thank you for providing such a lovely narrative.

Posted by Anonymous April 18, 2018 at 9:35 AM

This is a marvelous story! Thank you.

I'm so glad you put out some extra treats for mum. Sounds like she needed them – both for calories and "comfort food"! Like chocolate.... ;-)

I don't see how you took all these pictures. I couldn't have done it for laughing. But I'm awfully glad you did--so that the rest of us can have the best laugh we've had all week.

Looking at that poor mother squirrel reminded me of my mom trying to get me out of bed in the morning when I was in high school...

Love, love, love those pictures! You are so talented. They made my day.

What a fantastic peek into a life moment (hours, oh my) of a mama squirrel. Do you think this is typical? Thanks for sharing this; it was great to laugh. Kim in PA

OMG so hilarious! I had no idea they would actually drag the kids out.

I loved reading this story and watching the drama unfold in your photos. Such incredible persistence and efforts. Who knew being a mama squirrel was so much work? Not me. A wonderful documentation of the hard work of motherhood.

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