"The hardest challenge is to be a squirrel in a world where everyone is trying to make you be something else." (‘Cheeky’ Cummings)
I recall sitting on the porch that day that the wind was still quite strong from the storm the night before. The sky was still as gray as the pelt of the squirrels that play in the trees, and everything was damp. There were twigs and other small pieces of the oak trees strewn about my yard, and a small rustling sound on the roof above my head. Whatever could that be? I thought, as I stood up from my chair and moved out from the porch. As I looked up at the roof I spied a pile of twigs that looked to be of squirrel construction, and just below that pile lay a baby acorn eater whose eyes had not yet opened. What do you do? The poor creature was obviously still alive and wet, and cold, as I could see him shivering. This day is becoming less and less ordinary all the time.
"Meegan, come out here ", I yelled for my wife.
"What, I'm busy," she replied.
"All right, if you don't care then I won't do anything about it," I answered so not to spoil the surprise.
"Ok,'she said, but then wondering got the best of her,'I'm coming."
She looked up on the roof, and seeing the poor little squirrel, said, "bring him to me."
So I backed my Jeep up to the house and climbed first the vehicle then from there onto my roof.
I picked the little rodent up from the tile he was shaking on and brought him down to a point where my wife could reach him. She took him and retired into the house where she started drying him and finding things to keep him warm. At the time, I had a reptile rack with a heating strip so we turned it on and bundled him in cloth and made this his new nest. Well at least he stopped shivering, but what next?
My wife sought out the advice of here old trusted friend, the internet, and found a lady who had successfully raised a little gray squirrel. Her squirrel's eyes were not open yet when she found it either, but the advice she gave was spot on. So my wife sent me for supplies, which included a syringe to feed him with, and her saga began.
It is an amazing thing about mothers that their capacity to love and nurture can be extended well beyond their own family circle. She took full responsibility for his care and had an alarm set to wake her up every two hours to feed and cuddle with him. He responded well and one day his little eyes finally opened.
We decided it was safe to let the girls name him now, and from that day forward he was their little brother, 'Silly'.
Calvin 'Cheese Grits' Yerke