I’ve fed the squirrels in the back yard of our house in Saint Petersburg for a long time. In that time I’ve come to know a lot of them on what I considered a personal basis, in that there was some level of basic communication, even if it was just “Hey, peanut guy. Give me a peanut”.
Names were hung on some of them, just to differentiate them from the others, but there were plenty of others whose presence we liked, but who never received a name. These squirrels were wild critters. I never once thought of them as anything approximating pets. However, I met some noble souls out there, and I wanted to mention at least the ones that stuck out. We still talk about some of those squirrels. Even the ones that are long gone. They deserve at least a mention here.
- Whitey – befriended our beloved Spartacus.
- Lola – adventurous and bawdy floozee.
- Missy Miss – a sweetie who took peanuts from our hands.
- Albert – a sweet, playful, if hefty, boy.
- Grey – hindquarters were mostly grey.
- Brownie – had interesting brown coloring on feet and face.
- Little Brownie – looked similar to Brownie, only smaller.
- Longnose – took peanuts from our hands.
- Scritch – scarred on left hind quarter.
- Scratch – scarred on right side.
- Crip – had problems with right hind leg.
- Frosty – looked like her front had been dipped in white paint.
- Chunky – another hefty boy.
- Lil’ Bear – one of Sunny’s babies, died of some sort of cancer.
If we learned anything from the constant rotation of personalities out there in the back yard, it’s that squirrels have a very high mortality rate. Of all the squirrels we knew out there, only a couple remained constant for any length of time. Some disappeared about as soon as we got used to seeing them around. But we feel honored to have made their acquaintance in the short time they were here. The gave us a sense of wonder, and we gave them peanuts and sunflower seeds. It was a fair exchange.