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A Squirrel to Call Her Own
Kelly Blog - Motherhood
Written by Kelly Boyette   
Wednesday, 03 March 2010 21:38

Often times while I'm driving in the car I am guilty of being so lost in my thoughts that the conversation going on behind me is just babbling background noise. Truth be told most of the times conversations aren't abounding in the backseats. It is more like complaints being tossed around, shrieking, arguing, and the like.  On the rare occasion that there is only one voice speaking at a time my mind takes a little break knowing that everyone is buckled up allowing me to know where they are and what is within their reach.  A while ago I tuned into one of these rare conversations and picked up on a little fact.  C and E had pet squirrels.  I had no idea.

C's squirrel lives in the woods behind my parents' home.  E's squirrel lives somewhere in the neighborhood we pass through on the way to church.  They see it walking on wires and scampering up trees.  I've never had the heart to ask them how they know it is the same squirrel when there are probably others that live in the same neighborhood.  I suppose we could call them the country and city squirrels. How different the worlds these little rodents live in.  One spends its day stealing birdseed from a feeder while the other risks its life crossing wires above pit bulls and running across busy roads. One day as we were driving our route into the city squirrel's territory, E spotted a squirrel who, sadly, didn't make it across the road.  "Oh no, my...." then with relief, "No, it isn't my squirrel." Somehow in the two seconds it took us to pass the unfortunate animal she was able to make a positive ID on a squirrel she had only seen from the window of a moving car.  I would call that very positive thinking.  A week or so later she spotted "her" squirrel crossing a wire.

Time passed and M had been observing and talking about these squirrels with her sisters. She knew whose squirrels were whose, and she knew something else—she didn't have one.  I realized that she was on the hunt for her very own squirrel as we were leaving my brother's in Memphis and the girls spotted a squirrel.  They began debating whether or not this could be M's squirrel and came to the conclusion it couldn't.  Memphis was just too far away.  M chimed up with a great idea with her sweetest voice, "Hey, I know, we can share squirrels."  For as dramatic as E is, there are times when she is to the point and very practical.  "No, I think we're better off just having our own," she replied.  M still had no squirrel to call her own.  

I suppose the girls come by their interest in squirrels honestly.  My grandad loved squirrels and enjoyed feeding the neighborhood squirrels.  Since he passed away, the girls and I try to make it out to put Indian corn on his grave to feed the squirrels.  I just think he would get the biggest kick out of that.  This past fall we were doing just that.  The setting was gorgeous, beautiful mature trees at the peak of their fall splendor, a quiet that almost allowed you to hear each leaf as it floated to the ground, and a squirrel diligently gathering nuts for the pending winter.  That is when M spotted him. Maybe it was the setting, who knows, I suppose when you find the right squirrel you just know.  M claimed him as her very own squirrel.  Now we have a city squirrel, a country squirrel, and a cemetery squirrel.  I wonder when and where A will find her very own squirrel. One thing is certain:  now when we are driving in the car and I hear the word squirrel I start listening to the conversation.

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