In the small town of Sharon Springs, Kansas, a man is stealthily moving from tree to tree. He scales each tree to get to any of the large messy nests he can reach safely.
Once he has attained his goal he makes sure the mother of the babies is not at home or runs her off if she is. Once the mother is not in the nest he reaches in and gently removes a little furry baby.
Once the little one is firmly in his hand he gently places it into a large pouch that is hanging at his side. He then reaches back into the nest and removes another little furry baby and it quickly joins his sibling in the pouch. He will repeat this process up to 5 times. He tries to leave at least 2 of the babies in the nest for the mother to finish raising.
He moves from tree to tree during this morning raid of the nests until he has as many as he can get into the pouch without mashing the little babies. Once he has his pouch full he takes the little bunch of fur balls back to his home.
There he gently takes the little squirming fur balls out of the pouch and places them in a wire cage that is lined with soft blankets. The new little family of fur balls settles down to take a nap and he leaves to resume his job of raiding nests.
He moves all over town and when he is finished raiding all the nests he takes the last pouch of fur balls back to the little pen he has built for them. Once all of the new family is safely in their new home the hard work begins.
He hand feeds each one of the little fur balls with a doll bottle until they are large enough to eat normal food. Then he hand feeds them until they are ready to leave the only home they will ever remember.
When the little squirrels were old enough to take care of them selves, they would be loaded up in cages; taken out and turned loose all over town. The residents looked forward to the new fur balls arriving in their neighborhood in the early summer to join the ones from the previous years.
The little squirrels don’t seem to know a stranger nor are they afraid of the family pets. They will join the family on the front porch, hanging out on the porch railing. They seem to really enjoy the company of the humans in their life.
Of course the residents in this small town also enjoy the little ones coming to visit each day. When we lived there it was the best part of living in the town for me. I would race home after school to see if they were there waiting on me.
Of course they learned the routine of the residents in their neighborhood really quick and there was always at least one of the little fur balls sitting on the front porch railing waiting on me.
I would run into the house, dropping my school books on the nearest table or chair. Then off to the kitchen and I’d remove the lid of the cookie jar. Inside was everyone’s, including the squirrels favorite; Oreo cookies. I’d grab a handful of them; one each for the little beggars on the front porch and one or two for me; then I head back to the front porch.
Once I was back on the front porch they knew I had their treat of the day. They would sit up and beg like the family dog. I would go from one little one to the next handing out cookies to them. They would gently take the cookie from your hand and would remain sitting up on the porch railing holding the cookie in their paws. They’d nibble away until they had eaten the entire Oreo cookie.
When they were finished with the cookies they would clean their paws, licking off the chocolate crumbs and then clean their faces, then they would leap off the porch and disappear.
I knew they would be back the next afternoon. The little fur balls would be sitting on the front porch railing waiting to greet me at 4:00pm when I arrived home after school.
During the day Mom put corn on the sidewalk for them and after they had cleaned everything up; they would leave to visit other homes on the block.
I was the one that gave them the Oreo cookies and they knew once the corn was gone at our house they had to go elsewhere to finish their lunch and then return later for dessert. I wondered if they could tell time because they were always there at 4.
I really enjoyed the little squirrels that year. It is the only town I have ever been in that the squirrels were all tame. The squirrel daddy in Sharon Springs was the Sheriff and he hand raised the little squirrel fur balls so everyone could enjoy their company. To contact Sandy: [email protected]