He comes and visits us, less frequently than two winters ago. He's the “little guy,” a little squirrel with a deformed left paw expecting to find some sun seeds fallen from the bird feeder.
Although we are fascinated by their antics, we are not too happy with squirrels that dig into our flower boxes nor with woodpeckers who find the cedar trim in which to peck holes But the bird feeder doesn't much discriminate.
We never expected that “the little guy” would live two winters. Now when we see him approaching the deck, we carefully slide open the glass door and throw out a handful of sun seeds.
He used to run away when we first met him and then return a few minutes later. Now he stops and waits until the door closes, knowing that he will have enough to keep him busy for next five to ten minutes.
When we don't see him or forget to look for him or when he doesn't have enough, he will sit up and look through the glass, hoping that the door will slide open and pass out a bit of nourishment.
Today, he even defends this as his territory against others who will deprive him of his finding.
At each of his visits, we wonder at what caused his deformity. Was it painful and does he suffer any residual pain? How much does his deformity prevent him from an appropriate life?
Wondering also as to whether he will continue his visits the rest of this winter and will he be with us in the Spring?
We count and miss the loss of friends and dear ones and wonder what the Spring count will be.
Will our little one be among that count and will we be among those doing the counting?