We don’t dare say “squirrel” out loud around here.

If we do, a certain dog will leap up from the soundest sleep and run to the door, ready to do her duty and protect the bird feeder from bushytailed marauders. She’s FAST, but squirrels are just about as fast, and once they reach a tree, all Coquina can do is look up in frustration.

A while back, while struggling with a moth in drawing class, I looked out at our teacher’s birdfeeder, where a squirrel was enjoying a meal.

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Julie has a cat, Daisy. Daisy’s squirrel-catching skills are nil. Sometimes she watches them from inside, but doesn’t really seem to care about them much. If she’s outside, she does much the same thing.

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Daisy, outside, doing nothing about squirrels. 

Julie’s squirrels are fat and happy-looking.

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One of them is almost black.

In this area, there is a steadily expanding population of these dark, melanistic, squirrels.

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The squirrels’ table is set.

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They’re fat and nearly fearless.

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And they don’t mind settling in.

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