Tales From the Bark Side- Francis the squirrel finds home in Frazee
Welcome back to the bark side of life here in Ottertail, where the last few days have been luxuriously warm (replete with fog so thick that if it had sleeves, you could wear it). Driving in it was no easy chore... oncoming headlights were only vi...
Welcome back to the bark side of life here in Ottertail, where the last few days have been luxuriously warm (replete with fog so thick that if it had sleeves, you could wear it). Driving in it was no easy chore... oncoming headlights were only visible from a few feet away.
This morning as I sit down and write this column, it is beginning to snow again. If rain is like tears from the sun, snow must be like flower petals from the stars.
Before we conclude last week's tale, I must report a typo on my part. The Pawlitscheks only fed the baby squirrel 1 (teaspoon) every four hours. There is a good reason why they put erasers on the end of pencils. So, without further adieu, here's Dave and Susan's tale about Francis, the domesticated squirrel.
We put Francis in his new house and the other two babies showed up the next morning. Squirrels do communicate with each other and we think Francis invited them over. So, we stood on a ladder with the eye dropper of milk, next to the door of their house, and fed the other two for three weeks. We got them all started on fresh fruit and dried fruits... then went to chopped nuts. We soon figured out that they liked whole nuts better because they could hold on to them. Once on the nuts, they didn't want the milk any more. The two new squirrels were named by our grandson, Nick, and they were called Sandy cheeks and Scrappy the feisty.
The new squirrels always keep their distance and will come within four feet of us and we throw nuts their way. Dave ended up building another house and put it high in a tree and this is where the couple of them now live. I think the bird house has occupants again. All the squirrels show up about 9:30 a.m. and Francis will come to the door and crawl up our leg and sit on our shoulder. If we are outside, he has a ride to the house to get his favorite nuts. He has been feasting on almonds, walnuts, and peanuts as are his friends as well.
This little fellow has brought a lot of joy to children, in the neighborhood and adults alike. Squirrels have about twenty different sounds with which to communicate. When he shoves three almonds at a time into his mouth, goes and sits in a tree, and we hear chucking noises, we think he is saying, "Thank you, I love you too."
Thank you, Dave and Susan, for a good tale about the habits of squirrels. Ok, what was Francis exhibiting more, logic or instinct? It seems the bushy tailed fellow became semi-domesticated, which I believe is not instinct but a choice on his part. What do you think?
The "Logic vs. Instinct" contest is well under way and you can enter by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at Keith Alan Ross, Richville MN 56576 or phone me at 218-495-2195.
In a couple of weeks, I have a treat for you. Nathan Johnson, who won last years contest in Fergus Falls, has submitted a terrific tale and it is a doozy. I love sharing the work of our younger people because they do need to be encouraged in their budding careers. Writing is not only a skill, but it is an art.
The World War II generation was a group of great writers and they corresponded to each other with great eloquence. That is being lost today because so much time is being spent on the computer and it has a language all of its own.
Mentor those future writers and we all stand to gain from it. If you are a teacher, encourage your class to participate contests like these.
Book availalble locally
You can purchase a copy of Tales From The Bark Side at the Red Willow in both Detroit Lakes locations, Washington Square Mall and at the corner of Washington and Willow streets. That does it for this week. Until next time...