Tuesday, January 29, 2013
The squirrel. Varmint of summer. Digger of holes and destroyer of young lettuces, whose roots are left high and dry in the digger's wake. Also, the squirrel who - inexplicably - will not steal my summer strawberries.
Of course, this could be another squirrel. A bright squirrel. This squirrel has been hunting through the dry foliage of the strawberries, raking down each stem and lifting each leaf with its little paws, to find dried and frozen fruit. I had so many strawberries that I left the last berries on the plants, and there they stayed until this squirrel ate them. The animal even hunted through each flower pot and inspected the rose canes for any edible shoots. There were none.
The streets below are lined with oaks and I know that acorns are buried three deep in my pots. Miniature oak saplings germinate every spring on the terrace floor. So the squirrel has resources. But the pots are frozen, see. Solid. No. Access.
I felt bad.
So I left a couple of almonds out for it.
My feeling is that I will buy some nuts in shells. Pecans, maybe. And toss a few onto the roof. That way the squirrel will think it is finding them, rather than learning to come and wait and look pathetic every day, should it become used to my hand outs.
And then spring will come, and I will plant my pea and fava seeds and the frenetic digging will begin again, and I will stretch tight the chicken wire, and curse the fluff-tailed rodent, and think about making squirrel terrine.