If you recall, a few weeks ago I had an unpleasant encounter with a squirrel in Patterson Park. And a few days after that, I was actually physically accosted by one of those little bastards.
It’s not something you can just shake off. TRUST ME.
I still feel my leg tingling where that fluffy-tailed little son of a bitch latched on.
Anyway, I alleged at the end of the post most of the squirrel aggression I encountered was a direct result of well-meaning folks hand-feeding them.
Now, from a biological standpoint, I knew I was a correct assertion; however, I didn’t have direct evidence at the time.
But NOW? Now, dear reader, I have hard evidence of grown men inappropriately sharing their nuts. . .with squirrels!!
The other day, Mac and I were doing our daily birding rounds in the Park and as we were approaching the lake for our second pass at the ducks, I heard strange noises. . .
A chorus of “Here, piggy, piggy, piggy! Here, piggy, piggy, piggy! Piggy, piggy, piggy!”
What the hell?
I immediately trained my binoculars on the ruckus.
There, before me were two older gentlemen handing out single peanuts to the squirrels along the lake boardwalk!
The squirrels were taking turns coming up to the men getting single nuts from their HANDS!!!
Since we were nearing the end of our walk, Mac started to protest a little at my stopping the stroller so abruptly. So I jammed a huge chocolate chip cookie in his cram hole and started to stealth my way around the backside of the lake where I could observe these deviants in decent cover.
Here’s how they operate:
They start calling from the far edge of the boardwalk, “Here Piggy, Piggy, Piggy!”
The squirrels start coming to the edge of the boardwalk. The men start calling out names.
Yes NAMES!!! They have names for the squirrels!!
And the squirrels come for their nuts!
The men discuss what’s going on. . .”I haven’t seen number 8 today. Where’s number 8?” “Piggy has had three now. . .we should save a few for Teeny when we get around the bend here.”
Like clockwork, Teeny is exactly where she’s supposed to be, small squirrel claws extended, waiting for one of the men to offer her a nut.
“Oh, here comes Number 8!”
Number 8-Ball bounds through some underbrush and comes to a skidding halt mere inches from one of the guy’s sneakers. He bends down and offers 8-ball a nut. And another. I watch 8-ball’s tail twitch in pure ecstasy and he shells the peanut.
My stomach turns.
This explains everything.
I’m sure 8-ball is the bastard squirrel who scaled my leg the other day.
I suddenly find myself wickedly hoping the Cooper’s Hawk is around. . .If at least to crap on these men who are nut sharing sickos.
I watch the whole disgusting display through my binoculars, wanting to shout how wrong it is, wanting to tell them to stop sharing their nuts!
But something keeps me quiet.
All I can do is make sure Mac doesn’t see this perverse little drama playing out before us.
And after the nuts are gone, and the squirrels retreat, the one fellow lights up a cigarette. . .