Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

28/04/2020

In which I tell you a tall 'tail' ...

Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I shall begin.....

Once upon a time, there were two brothers. One big and one small. Both cute and lovely and sweet and alone.

Both fell out their nest and into our hearts....(ah - yes - I know they are vermin, I know they are an introduced species and I know they are not popular - but they were babies and hungry and frightened)
One, the smaller was so dehydrated we could 'tent' his skin and it would not return, we struggled getting water in until I found a very narrow teaspoon and we poured water into the little mouth.
And he drank and drank and drank and drank and then fell asleep.
The other fell so hard that he bloodied his nose and we suspect had concussion. I held him until his nose stopped bleeding then Youngest took over, holding him and keeping him safe and warm. His mouth must have been bruised too as he refused to take water not matter how we tried. He was so afraid that he tried to growl but he soon gave up as he succumbed to the gentle cuddling.

After a while both lads seemed steady enough to go back up the tree and home to their dray, which they did, both a bit wobbly but up they went.
Later Moss and GF found a dizzy and sorry feeling squizzer halfway up the fence, a little tangled up in the plants - we rescued the confused little fellow, more gentle handling, water offered and refused. He was getting more dehydrated, his skin was 'tenting' too but his mouth was too sore to even contemplate drinking. He grumbled and growled and we returned him to his tree.

Youngest made a feeding platform and we filled it with nuts and a bowl of water and the little one very quickly got the message and began to eat and drink and scale the tree happily even giving us a little sing-song growl if we got too close - brilliant!
However, the larger baby was still struggling, his dehydration and probable hunger drove him out on a tree limb and he fell again - heavily. Once again Moss and GF discovered the now perilously weak squizzer kit, this time at the base of the tree. 
I put my hand out and he weakly climbed in, his little face was covered in blood again. So we once again cuddled and mopped his nose and tried again to get some water into him with the narrow teaspoon and fortunately this time it worked. He too just drank and drank and drank and like his little brother fell asleep. We carefully washed his face as he slept. 
Eldest, GF and Youngest sat patiently with him until he awoke, less wobbly and certainly not thirsty any more, but equally unable to eat - his poor little mouth must have been very sore. Once again he was put back up in the tree and he carefully climbed up past his little brother who was stuffing his face happily.
The last few days have been of gentle intervention - trying very hard not to become attached to the lads, trying not to imprint ourselves on them. Gentle encouragement to eat, trying peanuts, trying sweet potato, trying grapes - anything to get the larger one to eat. Then a sudden break through - when after another wobble and tumble out of the tree, he was tucked in Youngest's fleece to warm up and he suddenly started to eat. 
The little lad lay back and gnawed and gnawed at a peanut until he was full and this time he scampered up the tree a lot brighter and chirpier.
Yesterday , as we sat in the sun in the garden, quietly watching the lads in the tree eating we suddenly noticed that the larger one had come down and was lying in the sun near us. He must have felt safe.
Once he'd had a good nap he bumbled over to ask for some food then found himself another patch of sunlight for another doze. 

When it was time for us to go inside, Youngest carried him over to the feeding shelf and there he had another good snack and went up the tree to bed!





So. Yes, they are vermin, yes - they are seen as pests but, these two little small furry fellows are survivors and with our gentle guidance they will leave the safety of their tree in our garden and find their own way in the world. 

The End,

well, no, not really the end, however, we hope it will end well - furry fingers crossed!

What I have learnt -
they growl, little kitten-growls when they think you are going to take their food,
they grumble and chitter happily while they are eating and they make little chop slapping noises when they are chewing,
they rest their hands on their little tummies when they are full.
They like to be stroked and will gently hold your fingers and lick them when they are hungry and they do like sitting on shoulders ... a lot.

But no we are not getting attached....!

20 comments:

  1. How lovely, I love watching them when they come to our bird feeders, what ever people might think they are very cute.

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  2. Once upon a time I would have hated this post.

    Because, as you know, once upon a time I was blessed with visiting Red Squirrel every day.
    But thanks to the greed of a local landowner, those darling reds are no more. Their dreys were an impediment to a profitable planning application and trees were illegally felled . . .

    So ‘my’ Reds are gone, and I ought to strenuously dislike those grey “pests”, but I cannot. Your tall tale has brought a lump to my throat . . . Those two little kits were blessed to be born in a tree above your garden, and if you think they will leave ‘home’ when they grow up, think again - they are clearly not stupid and know where the 24-hour restaurant is located.

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  3. What a drama!
    What had happened to their parents?

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    1. The male does not get involved with their rearing, leaving it to the female, who when the kits are about 8 - 12 weeks old, abandons them and sets off to start another litter. We think these two were abandoned a little early due to their shear incompetence! But they are improving daily :D

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  4. Oh fantastic ... I want them to survive:) And again, whatever people think about htem, they are cute. And fabulous photos Kate

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  5. Thank goodness their guardian angels were looking out for them. Although our native red squirrels are so much prettier, these little ones deserve a chance. They are so sweet. I have always had a soft spot for Timmy Tiptoes as well as Squirrel Nutkin!
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  6. I loved reading this! Even though the little buggers swarm our bird feeders, and hog the feed, and I yell at them to GET OUT of the feeder, I do love watching their antics! We have a mated pair here now, with a lovely large nest in one of our trees, so I suspect we will see little ones before long.

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  7. Amazing pictures, lovely story, and it's not the squirrels' fault that we consider them vermin. Love the thought of them resting their hands on their tummies when they're full. :-)

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  8. What lovely photographs and video. How lucky those little guys were to fall into your garden and not any other garden nearby where they may not have survived. I agree with Jayne, they may be males who do not stay often but they know where there is a abundant larder and will be back. As for keeping them feral......well, we'll see!!! xx 🐿🐿

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  9. Aw gorgeous. They are very lucky to be living in your garden, bless them. Think it would be very hard not to get attached. X

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  10. Aww. Aren't they called kittens? A friend is currently nursing a jackdaw she found injured last week. He too is steadily improving and she's hoping to release him back into the wild in the not too distant future. Arilx

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  11. Maybe known as vermin in UK, but they didn't get there by themselves. They are living creatures & who wants to see anything in pain. I've loved hearing of your devoted care & our local vet has seen to a few injured birds from us over the years. Hope they keep progressing nicely. Take care, stay safe & huggles.

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  12. Oh my .... I just had to get DH to read this post. We have 5 that scamper along in our garden and feed from the nut box DH made with a lift up lid, clever little things they are. We get such pleasure watching them. Can't get anywhere near them though and neither can the cat when they try to chase after him!

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  13. Oh that is so lovely

    Julie xxxx

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  14. Oh...go on....get as attached as you like! x

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  15. What a lovely post and great photos. These little ones deserve a chance, thanks to your care and attention I hope they do well :)

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  16. Great pictures. They are so, so cute!

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  17. They are still beautiful creatures and do love seeing them. We have some local to use even through we are a built up area and there are no red squirrels so I am just as happy to see them.

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  18. We don't have squirrels at all in my village of any colour but there are reds nearby. Whatever they are they deserve to live and you have just given them the helping hand they need. Wonderful x

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