Due to a compression fracture in my lumbar region, I am spending a lot of time watching nature outside my front window. Particularly entertaining is the squirrel feeder. It is a platform my daughter and her husband crafted to simulate a cafe table and “rustic” chairs. The table has a spike to skewer a cob of corn on.
The greatest entertainment value comes when two squirrels come to feed at the same time. That event is enhanced by my imaginative animation. Such was the case earlier this week when two squirrels were at the feeder. Okay, so one was at the feeder and one was shouting every possible password for admittance.
The feeder itself is for a single corn cob, mounted upright on a nail. A cob a day is usually sufficient. Some of the cobs I bought are very short. They do not have enough kernels for a whole “day” of feed, so Sue shucks those cobs onto the ground.
Anyway, the grey squirrel obviously could not come up with the password the red squirrel required. Red shouted discouraging words, “Stop yelling at me. You’ll never get it. Down there is your lunch.”
“I’m not eating off the ground,” Grey countered. “Those are the kernels Sue spreads out for the poor rodents. I’m not a vagrant.”
“Vagrants? You idiot. They are down there because Sue is vertically challenged. She can’t reach this high.”
“Yeah, sure. Then explain how she got the preferred cob you are seated on, up here.”
“She jumps…which is more than I can say for you. Why don’t you just slinky your way down there for lunch!”
“Oh, so your hop like a lame rabbit is smoother than my lope?”
“Lope, hop, bound…whatever. Either eat off the ground or be patient until I get my fill.”
“What? You can’t eat all of that corn yourself.”
“True, but yelling back and forth is delaying my lunch. You come back later.”
The gray squirrel tried the old run around the tree—sneak in the back door tactic. Red did a marvelous 180 pirouette on the cob to easily counter that maneuver. Sneering at Grey, “That’s an old trick. You ain’t foolin’ me.”
“You old fool…I just want my share,” Grey complained from the edge of the platform.
For several moments they bobbed and weaved like sparing partners without gloves. Red would lean precariously from the top of the cob screaming “Be gone you miserable rat.”
Grey would attempt a snatch and grab, whilst yelling a retort for the slur on his heritage. “You’re nothing but an overweight chipmunk.”
“Well, I’m not so fat that I can’t chase you off this tree,” and proceeded to do just that.
What befuddled me, is that during this 10 minute standoff…which included “explitive deletives” that I did not repeat to you…neither squirrel got even one kernel. I must conclude that rats, regardless of how glorified their fur coat might be, are far more selfish than birds. But bird chatter at my feeder is a story for another day.