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Nov 3, 2010

Red Squirrel for Thanksgiving

Photo by BarrytheBirder

No, no, this is not about eating Red Squirrel for Thanksgiving. It's about coping with a Red Squirrel at a time for giving thanks. My sister-in-law, Margaret Asbury, regaled everyone at Thanksgiving dinner with the following tale. One day just before Thanksgiving, here in Canada, Margaret's husband, Richard, went out to start their infrequently-used truck. It would start but not keep running. After a few frustrating minutes, Richard checked under the hood. The entire engine compartment was full of Black Walnuts from nearby trees. They were packed in tightly. Richard and Marg cleaned out about 40 of the nuts but the truck still wasn't working. Further searching revealed another 20 or more nuts packed under the pad in the top of hood. Also the pad had been stripped and part of it had been used to create a wonderful nest. They also found a wire had been chewed, which they speculated was in the way of this whole project.
They proceeded to call the CAA. The Canadian Automobile Association service person put the chewed wire back together but the truck still would not run. The truck was towed into town to a mechanic who said that even though the wire was attached, the computer settings were messed up. $250 later, the truck was finally running. Back home there was a little Red Squirrel running around in a panic about his missing walnut stash. Richard was mad, but Marg felt sorry for the squirrel. She thinks the squirrel thought it was set for the winter.
Now the Asburys don't go anywhere in the truck without checking under the hood. Ironically, Marg had just bought a winter's supply of peanuts to feed to the squirrels, which she still says are a joy to watch. So that's the Asbury's squirrel story for this year. It was just a few years ago that a squirrel chewed the gas tank in the Asbury's garden tractor. They're still trying to figure out what the attraction was there.
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