Thursday, October 13, 2011

Excuse me, I can't talk right now, I have to feed my squirrel

Yes, I said squirrel. 

 Monday evening, A and the kids were taking the path up to the barn to check if there were any eggs before the lights went out.  Kenna comes running back to the house shouting at me to come out there RIGHT NOW!!

In the path, about 25 feet below a big squirrel's nest, is this little baby squirrel, who is chirping up a storm.  I realized that the chirping is the same sound I have heard for the past couple of hours as I cleaned up around that side of the house, so he's probably been there for a while. 

We've had orphaned baby mice die on us.  An orphaned baby bunny just this summer.  Not to mention the countless chickens and guineas we've lost in the past few months.  The last thing I wanted to do was take in another baby that was surely going to die.  Another thing for the kids to get attached to and then be heartbroken.

But A had other plans.  I think he was worse than the kids with the sad face when I said I didn't think we should take it in.  So now we have a squirrel.  We're on day 4 with him and he's going strong.

We're feeding him a mixture of kitten replacer milk and pedialite.  He's living in a little box in a nest of my fabric scraps, with the heat lamp over him.  We find him in odd positions like upside down with his butt in the air and his feet resting on his face.  The kids think this is hysterical.  He's gone through two name changes already - from the original "Squirrley" (Kenna said this one "just didn't stick") to "Quince" (I have no idea why).  I suggested Earl, as in he children's book, "Earl the Squirrel" about a squirrel with a little girl who knits him a scarf as a friend, but the kids looked horrified, because, as Holden yelled at me, "But MOM! Earl had to DIIIIEEE!" (see the Dixie Chicks' "Goodbye Earl" for clarification)

So now we have a squirrel.  A wants to give it a room with potted oak trees.  Or let it live in one of my currently unused rabbit hutches.  This morning, I asked A how he was, he'd been up for 2 hours by the time I got up at 7, and he said fine, other than the lack of sleep.  Clearly, he's never had a baby.  He's been getting up 4 times a night to feed the squirrel and make sure he's warm.  I think he needs a baby ...

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