Columnist, Nick Wolochatiuk
Nick Wolochatiuk
ONLY OCCASIONALLY – All’s quiet – then, stage left, enter the red squirrel. (Photo by Nick Wolochatiuk)

As I mentioned in an earlier DWW, on our deck and in our back yard we not only feed our fine feathered friends, we also feed some furry friends too. What a menagerie!

The main characters in our furry category are (in ascending order of size) chipmunks, red squirrels, black and gray squirrels, a rabbit and raccoons.

We usually have only one chipmunk. Except for a couple of days, we have never seen two at a time. He bothers no one and no one bothers him. He stuffs his cheeks to near-bursting with peanuts in the shell, then scurries off. To where, I do not know. His tininess, bulgy cheeks, and the black and white racing stripes along his back put him in a tie for first place in the cute category. During winter, he retreats into an extended period of torpor (near hibernation).

Next: the red squirrels. Only rarely also do we ever see two at a time. Compared to the shy chipmunk, he’s at the opposite extreme on the aggressiveness scale. He can easily rout three black squirrels at a time. He’s a frantic feeder and a Cirque de Soleil category acrobat. He flies through the air with the greatest of ease, from ground to railing to tree branch and back again.

Our full-size squirrels are regulars: two all-black, one with a brown tail, one with a white belly and a one, occasionally two, gray ones.

The cutest creature of all is a widdle wee wabbit, a widdle bunny wabbit. He’s so timid, so huggable – but too easily spooked to let us even try to take him in our arms. Only a couple of times have we seen his cousin, a hare (bigger, longer legs, longer ears and not even close to the bunny wabbit on the cute scale).

Finally, the very infrequent bandits of the night, a trio of little apprentice raccoons and their adult instructor. We have to store our peanuts and corn on the cob in large metal garbage bins. Even when ‘secured’ with metal clothes-line wire, they manage to pry off the lid. Those bins are as raccoon-proof as any bird-feeder is squirrel-proof.

Why do we FoFFFs and our FFs: they give us more entertainment value than NetFlix, the Gatineau Casino and the Cirque du Soleil combined. A barrel of monkeys might possibly be more fun. What’s your ‘barrel of fun’?

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