In a quaint shop in Hendersonville, NC, there is the most darling little garden statue that says "Squirrels Welcome". Although it was very cute, I thought, "I beg to differ!" We have gone to great measures to keep the squirrels off of our bird feeders. The defense has even been heightened since we caught them gulping the "nectar" from the hummingbird feeder! Of all the nerve!!! I walked out the back door recently to find the hummingbird feeder and the suet cage on the ground, and the acrylic disc (installed to prevent pole climbing) askew. The creak of the door caused five squirrels to dash across the back yard, up the retaining wall, and into the nearest trees. Just the day before I had put the gun back inside...the BB gun, that is. I didn't think it was good for it to stay out in the heat...and thoughts of "what the neighbors think" about something rifle-esque being on our screened in porch had circled through my mind. Those critters were off and gone before I had time to retrieve my weapon!
This morning I opened the blinds to see a squirrel perfectly steadied, his hind feet curled around the wrought iron, his tail aiding his stability, and his little hands reaching into the bird feeder...enjoying seed after seed. I couldn't help it. I just stood there and watched...such cute little ears, and so finely tuned...dainty hands, although bearing pointy claws...diminutive innocent, yet highly observant eyes...such talent in the balancing act he had going on....Something welled up inside me. I think it was compassion. And for that moment, I thought, "Okay. Squirrels Welcome." Yes, for that moment.
I may get the gun back out tomorrow.
I don't really have a verse to go with this. Maybe "The earth is the LORD's and everything in it...." Psalm 24:1a. I'm leaning toward letting you make your own spiritual application...or not. I just had to write...as writers sometimes do!
As goes the prayer that I learned as a child, "Thank you for the world so sweet. Thank you for the food we eat. Thank you for the birds that sing. Thank you, God, for everything." Even squirrels.