Squirrels Need to Eat Too!

When I was a kid, my grandmother loved “feeding the birds” as she referred to it.  My grandfather had built a huge platform with a large birdhouse.  My sweet grandmother actually cooked for the birds.  She would fry bread in butter and add birdseed and peanut butter to her special concoction.  The fattest birds in Ohio lived in my grandparents’ yard.

Squirrels were my grandmother’s sworn enemy.  She never said a bad word about anyone or anything except squirrels.  My grandfather actually bought a pellet gun to take potshots at the squirrels.  Because he was only supposed to scare the squirrels and not hurt them, the gun had absolutely no power.  It is now part of family lore that we could see pellet arc as he shot at the squirrels.  To my knowledge, he never got one.  For a young boy, there was nothing better than my grandfather saying, “You can shoot but don’t tell anyone I let you, especially your grandmother or your mother.”  He would wink and hand the gun over.  It was our little secret.  He did that with all of his grandchildren.

Flash forward over thirty years.  (It pained me to write that.)  Our son feeds the birds.  Despite the presence of large dogs, albeit a little old and slow, guess who comes to dinner?  The other day, before he put the birdseed away, a squirrel was hanging on our son’s birdfeeder.   We chased the squirrel away and I told the story of my grandfather’s pellet gun for the umpteenth time.  Of course, he asked if he could get a pellet gun and “not tell Mom.”  I told him, “I’m generally a risk taker but that’s a risk I won’t take.”  He understood and acknowledged his understanding by saying, “Oh well.  I guess squirrels need to eat too.  I’ll put more food out.”    

His simple solution and understanding made me smile.  It reminded me that in these challenging times, it is easy to overthink, over complicate, and over emphasize everything.  Simplicity is often underrated.   

Comments are closed.