Family Life Personal

Nice One, Squirrel

A charming scene unfolds outside my own window

Just what does it say about me that animals are increasingly providing my positive emotional highlights?

Curmudgeonly old age now approaching?

Please stand back behind the mellow line!

Just the other day, I was absolutely transported by an unexpected animal visitor who rocked up outside my front window.

Let me set the scene.

I am reading a book on the soft velvety Lincoln green couch that fits so perfectly into the alcoved recess to the left of the fireplace in our sitting room.

To my left, as I sprawl, is the large front window that looks out over our corner of the estate, an uninspiring vista of houses, tarmac driveways and parking spots; across the way, at least there is the neatly trimmed green space with swaying trees.

And the rosebush straggling the wall between the window and our front door is still just about in bloom, the tightly scrunched white blossoms adding a tincture of glamour to the spectacle. 

This day, though, it’s cold, wet and miserable outside, the sky an ugly grey canvass tarpaulin flung carelessly over all of this mundanity.

But I am here in my cosy nook, the warm heft of Lily insinuated into my lap, one of her ears up and twitching, but otherwise she’s still … I am holding her left front paw in my own left hand, the spongy pad snugly in my palm, my thumb stroking the top of the paw, brailing the narrow curve of her ivory nails beneath the soft fur. As I read.

How do dogs know so much about affection?

The book in my right hand is a thing of wonder, I Capture The Castle, by Dodie Smith (perhaps best known now  for writing The Hundred And One Dalmatians). Talking about it would take another post, or even two, such are its depths and delights.

Presently I am pleasantly adrift on one of those dreamy moments of reflection when you are no longer reading but dreaming out loud — good books or music do this to me.

My own creativity is often sparked in such reveries, and lines and phrases of my own, or observations, pop unannounced into my head. Like I am a visitor in the vaults of my own imagination.

A rustle of movement beneath the window catches my eye and the brush of a long, impossibly bushy tail is sweeping along the path from the left, like a bridal train.

What is that … why it’s a grey squirrel!

He or she hasn’t see me and I sure am not going to alert the drowsing Lily.

Stopping right in front of the front door, as if thinking of ringing the bell, and maybe asking for some food, he or she stands on its hind legs, revealing a magnificent snow-white pelt.

It scissors its paws a couple of times across that magnificently furred chest, in the cutest possible way, but maybe thinking better of dropping in unannounced, it comes back down on to all fours and scampers off around the corner.

It is nothing and it is everything, this fleeting vignette, and I could so easily have missed this moment of magic, which has given me a mild goosebumped vertigo, a quiver and whoosh of unexpected pleasure.

Who was this little visitor, and where did he come from?

If this were a Disney movie, would he be the adventurous, bright-eyed dreamer one, leaving his dull forest life behind him to seek his fortune, or has he been left behind by his unknowing pals or family, or maybe he’s foraging bravely alone far from his habitat because sustenance is scarce ?

I’m also thinking if someone had captured this little scene on their phone camera, they might be tempted to doctor it, or fake it up for Facebook or Instagram, so you might get this splendid little creature doing the can-can, or maybe rapping and swearing? Put sunglasses on him, maybe?

All I know is the vista in front of me looks different now … the leaves of the trees are vividly green and varying, and the grey-washed sky is all fleecy shade, light and contrast.

The grass is greener, the trees are swaying and hypnotising …

And still Lily dozes, with just the occasional snort and easy exhalation of contented breath.

*My Word of the Week (#WotW) is Squirrel

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38 comments on “Nice One, Squirrel

  1. Utterly beautiful post. I love seeing squirrels and remember one of my now teenagers calling them squiggles when they were small. Days I found challenging but much missed now with my oldest overseas and so very much missed. Obviously there is your beautiful writing as always but today you cheered me up. On the cusp of leaving a forest home that I love but that I know no longer serves me for a variety of reasons, I like to see myself as like your dreamer of a squirrel. Here’s to fortune and good times ahead. Your blog is like a sanctuary sometimes and I thank you for that. #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kate … thank you so much for your lovely words. Love that, squiggles! So glad you enjoyed the piece and here’s indeed to your fortune and good times ahead.

      Like

  2. aww, love this rambling post. I’m sure that fuzzy feeling in relation to animals isn’t an age thing – how could Twitter otherwise tell me that the main interest of my entire audience are dogs? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a lovely story! The wildlife is something you miss when you live in a flat. I also don’t think it’s so much what dogs know about affection as what we have forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Shannon … if you ever find a squirrel visiting you in your flat then you will know things have really tuned strange!!

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  4. So funny, I love it! My sister tells a hilarious story about a squirrel from when she was living in New York City. She hunkered down in her Brooklyn apartment when Hurricane Sandy made a mess of the east coast back in 2012, and during the height of the storm, she said she saw a squirrel standing on her window sill pawing at the glass, desperate for shelter in the wind and rain. She was already scared and stressed from waiting out the storm, and the squirrel’s panic was the last straw — she started sobbing and called my mom not knowing what to do. She desperately wanted to let him in so he could get warm and dry but knew of course that logistically it would never work. So she just put her hand up to the glass and kept him company until the storm blew over. Luckily they both made in through relatively unscathed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Karen Dennis

    Seeing that picture of a squirrel took me back to many years ago when I was working as a registered child minder, we would look for squirrels on our way to the park as a way of ,’jollying’ the children along #twinklytuesday@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A lovely post, Enda. It made me realise that I’ve missed seeing the local wildlife since I moved a couple of months ago. They just don’t seem to frequent this side of the block. I’ll miss the squirrel who once spent quite a while trying to burrow into the astroturf on my balcony to bury some of his winter food 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You have a lovely imagination. I’m surrounded by squirrels on the farm and take little notice. I’ll stop and look tomorrow! #Twinklytuesday

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure they’d lose their cute factor if they were there all the time, all over the place … it was just such a surprise to find this little guy peeping up and looking into the house … and looking so cute!

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  8. Lovely. Visiting you from the blogger club uk. laurensparks.net

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  9. You captured that moment so beautifully, Enda. Thank goodness Lily didn’t wake up or your story would have had a completely different ending!

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  10. I love this – what a beautiful way to capture the moment. Describing reading as dreaming out loud is such a good description of really getting drawn into a book. I love watching squirrels too – they can be so cheeky and cute at times. #bloggerclubuk

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  11. Thanks Louise🙏👍

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  12. Disney would definitely have a music montage or dance scene inserted here. But it’s the simple observations during the day that are the best 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us at #BloggerClubUK x

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  13. Such lovely observations Enda, I’m sure Lily would have been off to chase your visitor away had she not been so comfortable. We often see squirrels bounding along the fence at the bottom of our garden. I don’t think they like cats though, so they’ve never been so cheeky as to come to the door.
    Thanks for linking up to #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

    • The squirrel was out of Lily’s eyeline, Anne. No this one had a bit of a cheeky way about him. He looked for all the world as if he was thinking about knocking on the door😀

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  14. Tracey Carr

    I can only imagine Enda that the reason you are finding such comfort in animals these days is that unlike people they don’t talk back! They offer respite from the daily trying interactions with other human beings. You paint a lovely peaceful scene of quiet solitude – nice work if you can get it! #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Squirrels are such comical little characters, I love watching them try to raid the bird feeders at the park. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I really enjoyed your post 🙂 made me smile

    Liked by 1 person

  17. loopyloulaura

    Wildlife often seems so peaceful and trouble free but I’m sure it isn’t! Worry about predators trumps deadline panic! Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m yet to see one in our garden but I do love watching squirrels, they’re such comical animals. Thanks for linking up #twinklytuesday

    Liked by 1 person

  19. How nice to take so much notice of the little guy and to ponder about his life and what his plans for the day might be.
    Have to say I love to watch them, and we have a lot round where I work, such pretty and interesting creatures for vermin. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are cute and interesting Elaine. We have a few in our local park and I love watching them scampering about

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  20. If only it had knocked. Maybe another member of the household has been handing out food to squirrels. Or it mistook yours for a neighbour’s door. Realising it’s mistake, just in time. We have lots of squirrels in the garden and I love seeing them interact. The babies have been bouncing around the garden recently and they are so funny. #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

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