M. Giant's
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Saturday, March 03, 2007  

Nuts

M. Small's relationship with his friend Squirrel Goodnut continues to progress.

During our errands last weekend, one of the things we picked up was a big plastic bag of black sunflower seeds. The guy at the hardware store told Trash that's what squirrels like.

"Why are you encouraging that squirrel?" I hissed at Trash over M. Small's head. She just cocked hers back at me, like, not in front of the boy. This was after I had just spent ten minutes in the hardware aisle alone while M. Small and Trash browsed through flashlights and electric drills, during the second minute of which I realized that I had somehow ended up with temporary custody of M. Small's Trader Joe's balloon. Try not to feel like an idiot asking for 3/16" machine bolts when you have a bright-yellow sphere of latex and helium bobbing over your head.

So anyway, Trash and M. Small were all excited about getting some food for Squirrel Goodnut, and I was not to harsh their mellow. When we got home, the first thing we did was put some food out in the snow for M. Small's corpulent little rodent buddy.

Funny thing about M. Small: whatever it is he's doing right now? He wants to keep doing it. When it's bathtime, he doesn't want to get undressed, and when bathtime is over, he doesn't want to get out, and when he's dried off and in his PJs he doesn't want to stop being rocked and read to, and then in the morning he doesn't want to get out of bed. Same goes for feeding the squirrel, as it turns out. Once he was putting out squirrel food, he didn't want to stop putting out squirrel food. And Trash was no help at all in imposing restraint. There was squirrel food on the deck, the deck railing, the deck bench, the deck steps, the patio at the foot of the deck, the yard, and I think the roof.

The only place that didn't have squirrel food on it was the feeder hanging from our laundry line pole. Not for lack of trying, though. Trash would keep pouring a bit into M. Small's mittened hand -- which holds about a dozen seeds -- and then I would walk down the length of the driveway carrying him while he carried the food. Then I would step over the snowbank into the foot-deep drifts of the yard, trekking towards the feeder with snow in my shoes. And then two steps away he'd throw the seeds in the yard. At least three times he did this. The third time I told him to make sure to hold onto the seeds until we got to the feeder. I stood in the driveway, explaining to him in great detail why this was important. He nodded and looked me in they eye and said he understood. And then three steps in he threw the seeds in the snow. Pretty much all we'd accomplished was wasting three handfuls of squirrel food and soaking my socks. "How about one more?" he asked me. "How about no," I said.

When we got back to the deck, Trash had covered it in enough sunflower seeds to carve crop circles in. "Is the idea to make it so the squirrel can no longer run?" I asked her. "We're going to have to get more next week," she told me. A month's supply doesn't last as long as it used to.

The seeds lay untouched for a couple days, probably because the squirrel decided that it was nice of us to feed it again and all, but it was going to hold out for some more of that marshmallow fudge, thanks. And then one day we got home from work and he got home from day care and there was nothing left but shells and hulls, and Trash got out the squirrel food bag out and there we went again.

Trash stays home with M. Small on Fridays, and this Friday they watched out our bedroom window to the backyard while Squirrel Goodnut actually made an appearance at an hour where M. Small could see him. There was another squirrel with him, whom M. Small identified as Squirrel Goodnut's "tiny baby cousin." This "cousin" is of course neither "tiny" nor a "baby," but a normal-sized squirrel, not the cat-sized one our son has seen fit to adopt.

I'm kind of surprised that Squirrel Goodnut is deigning to eat actual squirrel food, but then I noticed something else. For various random reasons, out on our deck we have a case of Mr. Freeze ice pops that I never bothered to put away. You know, those clear plastic tubes of colored sugar water that are like long popsicles without a stick? We like those in the summer. Turns out Squirrel Goodnut likes them in the winter. He's been burrowing into the snow that buries the case, hauling the ice pops out one or two at a time, and gnawing them open, leaving half-empty, flaccid plastic sleeves at the base of his tree amid Pollockian pastel stains in the snow.

I guess all those sunflower seeds made him thirsty.

Labels: , ,

posted by M. Giant 9:04 PM 5 comments

5 Comments:

This?
""We're going to have to get more next week," she told me. A month's supply doesn't last as long as it used to."
Made me bust out laughing.
Thanks.

By Blogger Carsey Critter, at March 4, 2007 at 6:32 AM  

Otter Pops! That's what those popsicle things are. The blue ones rule.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 4, 2007 at 4:41 PM  

M. Giant, if a bunch of people continue to read about M. Small and decide they have to have one of their own and the world population pings, I hope you realize that it's your fault.

By Anonymous Wendy, at March 5, 2007 at 6:23 AM  

imagining that squirrel at the base of a tree sucking on a chilly willy (which is what we used to call them in the 80s) -- now that's pretty funny.

By Blogger reasonably prudent poet, at March 5, 2007 at 2:05 PM  

M. Small likes his animals. I was very impressed with Trash for taking him to the pet store to look at fish this weekend, on the theory that if you like fish, the pet store is free, and Underwater Adventures costs $15.

By Blogger Linda, at March 7, 2007 at 10:14 AM  

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