This summer while I was cleaning my car a falling squirrel nearly hit me. A big old squirrel fell from a large tree with a heavy thud, the first time I can recall ever seeing a squirrel fall from a tree and this isn’t the sort of thing I would miss. I have always wondered, do squirrels fall out of trees? so I have always kept a keen look out for falling squirrels.
Well, guess what, the other day I heard another thud and turned to see cloud of snow and fur and a little squirrel picking himself off the sidewalk. Bad luck. A fresh foot of snow had just fallen and this squirrel has the misfortune to land on the cleared sidewalk. But he seemed fine, more or less. Once he got to his feet he cleared out in a hurry.
I suspect squirrels quickly hide after a fall partly out of pride and partly for practical reasons. The squirrel’s misfortune, after all, could be another animals opportunity. Imagine a fortunate fox who might happen to be where I was standing…just a quick couple of loping hops and there’s dinner. Or lunch. (This happened midday. I should keep my stories truthful and believable.)
I did walk toward where the squirrel ran to hide and found him sitting peacefully, catching his breath. He saw me and scattered. He looked fine, though. No limp, no stitch in his gait. It seems squirrels can take quite a fall and bounce right back. That’s good. I worry less about squirrels now.
Not long a go I knew a woman who liked squirrels almost as much as I do. She comes to squirrels via Italy and had a noble way of calling them. Her pronunciation was something like “squire-earl”, which I thought was a nice way to talk about squirrels. I still have a fun card featuring stylized drawings of squirrels I planned to give to her. Not sure that opportunity will ever come again. But then I was never sure I would see a squirrel fall out of a tree either.
- 100 years ago: Britain welcomes grey squirrel colonists (guardian.co.uk)
- Monday Mischief: The Elusive Squirrel (sagechronicles.wordpress.com)
- Realm of the Lone Grey Squirrel (lonegreysquirrel.blogspot.com)