I actually wrote this adventurous tale back in 1999. It’s one of those classic family tales that my husband will not let me forget, and I’m sure my children will be telling it to my grandchildren, so I’m posting it here for the enjoyment of those who have not had the pleasure to read it yet (I’m assuming you find my writing a pleasure to read, since you’re following me on my blog).
**The cute photograph of a squirrel on this blog is the work of Bill Larison.**
We were about one week into our seven-week honeymoon camping itinerary, and had just arrived at Kings Canyon National Park in CA. As I was setting the food out on the picnic table to prepare dinner, a squirrel wandered into our campsite. Being an animal lover (my weakness is the fluffy furry ones), I played with the squirrel and took some pictures as it was roaming around our campsite.
All was fine until Paul left to get the firewood (to roast the marshmallows for the s’mores, of course). That was when the cute fluffy squirrel turned into Super Nasty Squirrel.
As soon as Paul was out of sight, that squirrel hopped from the ground onto the picnic table and went straight for a package of Oreo Cookies. At first I thought this was one of those Kodak Moments and started clicking away on my camera, when to my disbelief, that chubby-cheeked squirrel started dragging the package of Oreo Cookies away with its front paws!
Now, this was Double-Stuff Oreoes that we just bought from a store on the way to Kings Canyon that morning, and the next store on our itinerary was nearly 20 miles away. There was NO WAY that I would give that squirrel our Oreoes! So, I reached for the package and yanked it back, thinking this was all it would take to scare the squirrel away.
Well, that tiny squirrel had more muscles in its body than I thought. It yanked back and nearly caused me to lose my balance! I pulled again; and it pulled back again. There we were, human and squirrel having a tug-of-war with a package of Oreo Cookies!
Then I had a brilliant idea. “I’ll just shake him off,” I thought. So I started shaking the bag. But that squirrel hung on even tighter. By now, I was holding the bag in mid air with the squirrel hanging on for dear life at the end of it.
“Just a little more shaking should do it,” I thought. And so I started to spin around, in hope that the squirrel would get dizzy and let go. Faster and faster I spun till I was the one getting dizzy, but that squirrel just would not let go. Guess he thought Oreoes were special too. He might have had a special sweetheart back in the woods or something.
Then, suddenly, while I was still spinning, the squirrel let go of the bag and ran quickly away. As I was stumbling around trying to keep from falling, I saw Paul approaching the campsite. So that’s what scared the squirrel away! Of course, Paul didn’t see the squirrel and wondered what I was doing dancing with the Oreoes. To this day, he still does not fully believe that there really was a squirrel.
That day, I learned that squirrels are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. That Super Nasty Squirrel planned the heist from the beginning, playing his charm on me, waiting for the moment when “the big man” would leave, so he could steal from “the little woman.” If Paul hadn’t come back when he did, I might have become exhausted from the struggle (or fainted from all that spinning), and that squirrel would have gotten away with the Oreoes! Since that time, I don’t trust any squirrel and I watch my Oreoes VERY CLOSELY whenever I go camping.