Tuesday night after the family returned from the pool, a little baby squirrel came out of the shrubs next to our driveway and started to approach us.
It was a total Disney-like moment: you could almost see the thought bubbles over his head.
"Are you my dad?"
"Are you my mom?"
Now even though squirrels are everywhere in my neighborhood, I have never seen a baby squirrel.
This lil fella was clearly confused and scared.
And he kept looking at me like I gave birth to him.
When we went inside he followed us to the door like a puppy; all clumsy limbs and rocks for brains.
So I left a little bowl of water, some bread and some nuts out there for him and we called it a day. The next morning when the boys woke up they went out front to look for him but Charlie, as I had dubbed him because he just looked like a Charlie, was gone.
After I dropped the boys off at their respective school's I came back to do some laundry. The dryer didn't seem to be doing its job so I went out back to check the exhaust and was startled by a grey blob sitting on the lawnmower in my shed.
It's was Charlie.
And once again he looked at me like I was his parent and beagn to walk toward me. Once again I got some water and food and tried to place it near him but as I walked away he followed me.
So I went inside, did a little quick internet research, got a box, lined it with a towel and then went back out on to my deck. I picked up Charlie with another towel, he shrieked a shriek I've never heard, and I put him in the box. Then I ran some errands. A friend stopped by on his way running about town doing errands and I showed him Charlie. When we came out back Charlie again made a bee line toward me once he saw me and as I bent down to say hello I almost felt like he was about to jump on me.
By now it was 1pm and time to pick up Cole from playschool. He asked about Baby Jr. (his name for the squirrel) and I told him that Charlie was indeed still around and now on the back deck. When we pulled into the driveway, Cole barged out of the car, into the front door, out the back door and on to the deck to see the squirrel.
He was just sitting on the back rest of the bench chillin'.
Cole was totally excited to tell his brother so at 3:15pm we left to pick up Spencer from school and once united the two boys talked about the baby squirrel that was going to live in their backyard. When we got home Spencer went out back but Charlie was no where to be found. They boys played some before Spencer opted to ride his bmx bike around the back yard doing "stunts" dreaming of a day he'd be like Travis Pastrana. I went back inside to finish up the chili I was cooking for dinner when Spencer called out, "Dad! The squirrel! The squirrel!"
And as soon as I stepped out the door I saw Charlie in his rodent toddler gallop heading towards the deck. I scooped him up with a towel (more like he stepped on to it) and placed him back on the box. He was shaking. I then put on some gloves and held him and gently petted (is that even a word?) the little guy to comfort him. I guess it must of worked because after that he sat in the box and ate a raisan and an almond along with lapping up a bunch of water.
By then my wife came home and now Charlie was either trying to nap (my hunch) or dying (her hunch). Once again, after consulting the internet, we found a neighbor just a fews blocks away who was in the business of rehabilitating baby squirrels. So my wife and the boys took a short ride over to the woman's house to drop of Charlie.
The boys were bummed, and quite honestly, I was a little bit as well because we had all daydreamed about the pet squirrel that was going to live in our back yard yet be friendly enough to feed.
Once again a lesson was learned by my sons: wild animals should remain wild.