Squirrels

Around a year back two squirrels used to frequent my house, jump around in the balcony and run away at the same good pace that they came by. I used to cook much less those days, thats not to say that I cook any more now! One day, I decided to feed them some groundnuts, bookishly knowing it to be their favorite food and relished watching them eat as much as they relished eating. Then on, I tried to feed them something or the other over days, inasmuch as my memory served.

These visiting squirrels soon started finding their way into the house over a period of time in search of some edibles. They sure had a ball when my parents were home for some four months. My mom's cooking and dad's dessert salads served them hearty meals through the day then.

To our surprise, groundnuts were the last on their list when fed something else! They loved all sorts of food: rice, upma, potatoes, tomatoes, even mangoes and biscuits. During the time, our baby squirrels named as Lav and Kush brought their family and friends too. Soon, we'd our family grow to a couple of regulars and some visiting squirrels every now and then.

We found squirrels to be early starters that end their day of eatout much ahead in the evenings. Owing to their frequent visits, one of them decided to hitch a tent in our other balcony without our knowledge, happily stepping out at meal hours and slipping away again. This fella was driven away since after my parents' leaving B'lore, there wouldn't be anyone to feed or free him from closed house. I spent time trying to click photographs of these beauts. I didn't get good snaps due to their being too sensitive to surroundings, though my dad got a neat video capture.

There was a day when my mom wasn't well and due to delayed feeding; then, a hungry squirrel sneaked into the room and jumped onto my mother's bed as if asking to be served! They are lovely creatures, even blessed by Rama in some mythological story and its considered to be holy and a blessing if a squirrel touches a human. Of course, in her sleep, my mom couldn't have gathered all that while screaming out!
Around three months back, my landlord decided to convert the balcony into another room and in doing so, I lost our squirrels' visits! I was getting too attached to them and I began missing them over these days. A few weeks back, however, while I was sipping my morning tea, one squirrel slowly stepped in front of me. I was boggled at its having entered the house. All the doors and windows were closed, while the other balcony (now, the only balcony!) has a grid covering. I got worried at its being trapped and had to chase it away with much effort, without hurting it. In our chase, the little fella ran over my feet and I was all goose-pimply in awe!

I understood the visit to be a claim for his/their share of food. But since I didn't have much access to where I could have fed these squirrels, I went back to wait mode. Soon, I was to find a solution in the balcony with that metal grid, where a squirrel was playing around. A couple weeks back, I *called* a squirrel with a whistle kinda sound. He looked back from the coconut tree he was climbing. On my pantomiming eating, he jumped down and in fractions of a second, he found himself next to some nuts I was setting up for him! Thats when I took some pictures that are put up here. I don't get many opportunities to feed the squirrels now. Its a little difficult to put food across through those small grill opening of the balcony! Sadly, my squirrels have moved from being visitors through being family to being visitors again!
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