Squirrels and Acorns: Two of the finest fall treasures,
What would seem to the average human to be merely a morning walk, provides a young, impressionable Labrador with an exciting opportunity for exploration. Now, with the arrival of cooler weather and the rapidly fading hours of daylight comes a special fall treasure: the acorn! Nearly a half million of these little, brown, nutty-shaped packages have fallen at our local park, successfully attracting nearly as many squirrels. Not your average backyard garden-variety mammals, mind you but; brave, valiant, downright feisty squirrels! These timeworn park pros are fearless in the face of dogs, people, motorized lawn care equipment and large mobs gathered for soccer and softball games…what would another small puppy mean to them? As I watch LW and the squirrels compete for the small lawn treasures, I sometimes ponder if she’s actually interested in eating the acorns or just wants them because the squirrels do. Every morning marks the beginning of “the great competition.” The brave, little rodents scurry around to gather their winter meals and LW is on a mission! It appears to be her quest to single-handedly (or mouthedly) rid the park of every acorn, leaving the poor squirrels hungry for the winter. However, the squirrels appear to have other plans! Once an acorn is sighted, its “game on!” LW closes in just as the squirrels gather around in their huddle, making their plan to protect this prized meal (the only thing missing is the tiny blackboard with X’s, O’s and arrows). Nonetheless, with lightning speed the game commences: one distracts her by running right, while the other zigzags to the left heading straight up a tree; a third dives in to grab the acorn. LW, nonplussed by the attempted distractions faces off with the rodent “ball carrier” at the 50, when suddenly the game is called by a higher power. Booming from above she hears: “leave it!” And with that, the squirrels win by forfeiture. As we begin to walk on, a quick look back inspires a double take. Did I just see a group of triumphant squirrels gathering behind a tree and giving each other the high five? Gee, I thought they only did that in the Geico commercial.