Let’s say you’ve raised a squirrel from a tiny baby, released her to your backyard wilderness, but she still comes inside to play/eat/cuddle.
One day you notice she’s gotten really fat and cranky, and sports prominent nipply things on her belly. You think “maybe she’s pregnant!!!!!!!” but awhile later, the nipply things reduce and she’s slimmed down considerably.
You’d think, “whoa, I was mistaken. She’s not pregnant after all!” Right?
Yeah, it somehow escaped me that pregnancy has a logical terminus known as “giving birth.” Clearly, I will never, ever, be the next Jane Goodall.
If you’d like to read all the stories about William/Willow the squirrel, check her page.
Willow has three (we think) little squirrel babies, probably a couple of months old and cute as heck.
Nathan met them last night, sitting in the cooling dusk of the backyard. Hearing scrabbles and squirrel noises from the fir tree in the corner, he ran to investigate, and saw Willow struggling to climb the tree. She was apparently locked in mortal combat with Douglas.
Douglas is the cleverly named Douglas squirrel who lives in the backyard alongside Willow. Douglas squirrels are a native Oregon species, smaller, terribly cute, and very aggressive. Douglas and Willow have tangled a few times, but we thought they’d reached detente.
Instead, it seemed Douglas had wrapped himself around Willow’s head and was biting the bejasus out of her. Now, Nathan and Douglas were buddies long before Willow and he has a real soft spot for the little guy, but nobody–NOBODY–messes with The Resident Carpenter’s babygirl.
“Hang on, sweetheart, I’ll save you!!” Nathan raced up the tree, hand-over-handing it up the branches to the battling squirrels.* Willow looked up, chuckled, and introduced him to her son. Stunned, he slid back down the tree.
High up in the branches was Willow’s first nest, with two little heads peering out in alarm. Willow led her third child down to meet grandmama Nathan and play a bit.
It’s a kinda touching moment.
From the looks of things, Willow’s son is the explorer in the family; he came right up to Nathan and played with his fingers until Willow gently shooed him back up the tree. She gave Nathan’s fingers a soft nip, to say goodbye, and herded her brood back inside the nest for the night.
Willow bounced out first thing this morning to say hello to The RC and chide him for forgetting to open her squirrel door. Apparently she feeds her babies in the morning, then slips out for some “me-time” to chow down on nuts and chips, and cuddle with grandmama Nathan.
We’re not sure about the other two babies–they shyly stay up in the nest–but Nathan’s pretty sure the bold adventurer is a boy. “You can always tell by the shape of the tail,” he said.
Me, I was up at Mom’s and missed the whole thing. Drat. I’m still wrapping my head around the notion of being a grandpa.
Holy cow. Need to buy some cigars.
* The neighbors, apparently, were in the backyard, watching this giant crazyman head up that tree like a yowling cat with its tail on fire. We may have to move soon.